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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: derekb.lowe@gmail.com Twitter: Dereklowe

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October 24, 2008

BlackLight Power Responds

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Posted by Derek

After my post the other day, I’ve heard from some folks at Blacklight Power, including their founder, Randell Mills. He says that I have a number of details wrong about their system, and wrote with more information. I’ll quote from Mills:

”We do not add water to R-Ni. Any water present after drying is in the form of Bayerite or Gibbsite (Al(OH)3) which is quantified by XRD and TPD. Regarding the Rowan University team validation, the maximum theoretical heat from the measured content was 1% of the observed energy as stated with the analytical results given in the Rowan report which is on-line at our website.”

He also takes exception – as well he might – to my line about the correlation of the company’s activities to their fund-raising needs, stating that Blacklight currently has no need to raise any money at all. And as for the NMR figure that I could make no sense of, that appears to have been mislabeled. The one I was looking at, Mills says, is indeed a solution NMR and was actually Figure 45 in the document. Figure 58, he says, has now been fixed, although I have to say that it still looks like a duplicate of Figure 45 this morning at this link. Update: here's the correct version,

But as best I understand it now, the fundamental claim of the Blacklight work is that formation of their lower-energy states of hydrogen is extremely exothermic. Alkali metal hydrides, they say, are particularly good catalysts for this, giving you hydrinos and sodium metal (see equations 32 through 34 in their PDF). So the Raney nickel in these experiments is being used as a source of atomic hydrogen, and forming small amounts of sodium hydride on its surface gives you a system to see all this in action. Figure 17 would seem to be one of these, and Figure 21 is the same thing on a kilo scale.

I’ll not comment on these just yet, but will continue to see if I can make sense of what’s going on. I’ll invite readers to do the same if they wish, and to post queries about the stuff in the comments here (or to e-mail them to me). We’ll come back for another round as the process goes on.

Mills has been good enough to offer to help me out with any aspects of the data that they’ve published, and to get in contact with the company should I be in the area, which is a good sign, and much appreciated. They’re also supposed to have a video of the reaction up shortly, and we’ll see what we can learn from that as well. Against all this, I have to put the fact that I still find the physics behind the company quite odd and improbable. And one has to remember that the track record of odd, improbable physics breakthroughs that promise huge supplies of energy is. . .not good. And that’s putting it very mildly indeed.

But all it takes is one. And all Blacklight has to do to quiet the skeptics (many of whom are much more vitriolic than I am) is to throw that big switch at some point and have the kilowatts (or megawatts) come streaming out. That’ll do it, for sure, and the company assures everyone that this is their goal. I wish them luck with it, because a huge and unexpected new source of energy would be a good thing indeed. I’m actually glad to live in a country where ideas this wild can raise tens of millions of dollars, but (for the time being) I’m also glad that none of that money is mine.

Update: I'm already getting queries about how I can come down on the likes of Kevin Trudeau or Matthias Rath but not give Blacklight the same treatment. One reason is that Blacklight doesn't seem to be trying to extract money from the general public, which is, of course, Kevin Trudeau's whole reason for living. Another related reason is that Rath, Trudeau and their ilk are preying, in many cases, on people who are already ill and urging them to do things which will actually make them worse. Blacklight, as far as I can tell, is not urging people to chop down their power lines and send off for Home Hydrino Kits.

I find Blacklight's physics weird and unconvincing, too. But proposing weirdo physics theories is no crime.

Comments (156) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Current Events


COMMENTS

1. Sili on October 24, 2008 8:33 AM writes...

I have to admit that I'd rather have seen such 'vitriol' on this blog too.

I'm afraid I couldn't find an index in their paper. Would someone be kind enough to point me to the section where they solve the Schrödinger equation to get these new quantum numbers? It's been ages since I had QM, but as I vaguely recall it having 1 as the number of the lowest state comes directly from solving a differential equation. I think the solution starts as a power series, so it doesn't even make sense to have non-integer values.

If nothing else, I'd like to see a sample of this 'depleted hydrogen' they must be producing after extracting the zeropoint energy. Or does it instantaneously recharge so that we can extract more and more and more energy for free out of thin air?

Permalink to Comment

2. Derek Lowe on October 24, 2008 8:43 AM writes...

Sili, if I'm reading them right, they claim that they can use that stuff to make unusual new compounds and materials. I wouldn't mind seeing some of those myself, if they exist.

I'd have been nastier if the company were out beating the drum for money from the general public, but they don't seem to be. Anyone who puts serious cash into them can do their own due diligence (and they'd better!) But since Blacklight doesn't seem to be in "call-now-operators-are-standing-by" mode, I'll give them a little slack for now.

I still don't think that we're looking at a physics revolution here - we almost never are. But if people want to take a whack at one, hey, they're welcome to try.

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3. Zach on October 24, 2008 8:48 AM writes...

You're being far too kind. As an atomic physicist, I can tell you that

1) An electron bound to a hydrogen atom is exactly and analytically solvable. We know every bound state, and there is no state below the ground state.

2) Blacklight's equations are nonsense and have nothing to do with the Schroedinger or Dirac equations describing an electron in a potential. It's been a while since I looked, but their equations were really weird and bore no relation to anything in atomic physics.

3) The energy levels of an electron around a nucleus of charge Z go as E=(-1/2 Hartree)*(Z^2/n^2). The spectroscopic experiment where they purport to see a n=1/2 energy level (ie, an energy level lower than n=1, the ground state) is done in a discharge which included both hydrogen (Z=1) and helium (Z=2). The line they saw is the n=1 level of He+.

4) If there were an energy level of hydrogen which was 40.8 eV below the ground state, every hydrogen atom that we see should be in that state! Room temperature is about 1/40 eV, so the ratio of normal ground state atoms to hydrino atoms should be e^(40.8 eV/(1/40 eV))=e^(-1632), or ~10^-500.

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4. Zach on October 24, 2008 8:50 AM writes...

You're being far too kind. As an atomic physicist, I can tell you that

1) An electron bound to a hydrogen atom is exactly and analytically solvable. We know every bound state, and there is no state below the ground state.

2) Blacklight's equations are nonsense and have nothing to do with the Schroedinger or Dirac equations describing an electron in a potential. It's been a while since I looked, but their equations were really weird and bore no relation to anything in atomic physics.

3) The energy levels of an electron around a nucleus of charge Z go as E=(-1/2 Hartree)*(Z^2/n^2). The spectroscopic experiment where they purport to see a n=1/2 energy level (ie, an energy level lower than n=1, the ground state) is done in a discharge which included both hydrogen (Z=1) and helium (Z=2). The line they saw is the n=1 level of He+.

4) If there were an energy level of hydrogen which was 40.8 eV below the ground state, every hydrogen atom that we see should be in that state! Room temperature is about 1/40 eV, so the ratio of normal ground state atoms to hydrino atoms should be e^(40.8 eV/(1/40 eV))=e^(-1632), or ~10^-500.

Permalink to Comment

5. Zach on October 24, 2008 8:52 AM writes...

Apparently I can tell you twice. Sorry about the double post.

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6. Mister Snitch on October 24, 2008 8:54 AM writes...

"I’m also glad that none of that money is mine."

Indeed. I have a ton of information & links re Mills and comments from various professors and researchers at this post. The post is several years old, yet it is as relevant today as it was when first published... and that alone should tell you something.

http://mistersnitch.blogspot.com/2005/11/there-really-is-one-born-every-minute.html

Permalink to Comment

7. FormerMolecModeler on October 24, 2008 8:56 AM writes...

Solution to Schrodinger equation for hydrogen atom:

http://spiff.rit.edu/classes/phys315/lectures/lect_5/lect_5.html

The integral n values come about from solutions to differential equations, just as Sili mentioned.

It is interesting that the only mention of Schrodinger in the paper is in reference to him predicting the energy levels for hydrogen, namely E = -13.6 eV/n^2.

Anyway. It will probably be good for all of us if this is true, but I'm just very skeptical.

Permalink to Comment

8. Pixy Misa on October 24, 2008 9:06 AM writes...

I don't know what Blacklight Power is seeing, if anything, but it's sure as hell not a lower ground state of hydrogen. If there were such a state, water as we know it would not exist and we'd all be dead.

Which I'm pretty much convinced is not the case.

Permalink to Comment

9. James on October 24, 2008 9:18 AM writes...

Hi Derek,

I find this statement of yours a bit odd:

"But all it takes is one. And all Blacklight has to do to quiet the skeptics (many of whom are much more vitriolic than I am) is to throw that big switch at some point and have the kilowatts (or megawatts) come streaming out."

This seems like a pretty high bar to reach to prove a theory. This sort of seems like saying:

"So you have a solar cell that produces (in 1960) one watt of electricity for $100000. Since no-one would buy such a thing, I think the whole thing is a sham, and its impossible to make electricity from sunlight."

Aren't Randall's prototypes, so far, enough proof that his theory is true or not, even if he hasn't launched a commercially viable and low cost solution? Is he keeping his results and methods so secret that they can't be evaluated without commercial, low cost, viability?

James

Permalink to Comment

10. Dave Eaton on October 24, 2008 9:42 AM writes...

I'm with Derek with respect to vitriol. Being full of crap should not attract our ire as scientists. There is an ultimate arbiter, and that is nature. If they are after grandma's money, then yes, both barrels are warranted.

I've got a PhD in chemistry, with a some emphasis on modeling materials. Their stuff looks pretty loopy to me. But the Schrodinger equation isn't holy writ needing a screeching inquisitor defending it- the sort of person likely to be legitimately influenced by the mathematics is likely to be in a position to say, like we all have, that this looks fishy. Anyone ignorant of all the physics being assaulted would likely be influenced by any fancy talk and math.

IF the work is on their own dime, let the horses run and see where it leads. Besides, there will be battalions of scientists after this if they can produce power.

Far more interesting to me is the scant possibility that they can do it, but are all wet with respect to the explanation. If they are betting with their own dough, I am happy to see them put it on a longshot. They'll either overturn some physics (very unlikely, I'd wager), discover a nifty and useful effect, or waste a bunch of money chasing flickers and noise. Whatever- as long as they are not fleecing anyone (except, perhaps, themselves), there's no need to take it personally.

Permalink to Comment

11. onscrn on October 24, 2008 9:45 AM writes...

Some things in nature are very well understood. The hydrogen atom is one such thing, possibly the best understood. There is no lower energy state of hydrogen.

Permalink to Comment

12. CosmicConservative on October 24, 2008 9:52 AM writes...

Dave:

The difference between the electricity from light example and the lower state of hydrogen example is that all of the physics theory known at the time strongly supported the notion of converting sunlight into electricity, and that only moderate efficiencies (say 30% or so) needed to be reached to make it commercially viable, efficiencies that are well within accepted practical limits of thermodynamics.

The claims of Blacklight are not only not supported by current physics theory, but are, in fact, directly opposed to them.

That is not to say that Blacklight may rewrite our physics textbooks, such things have happened before. However, it is extremely unlikely.

And as the famous saying goes, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." So I agree with Derek on this. Throw the switch and start generating kilowatts or megawatts. Otherwise I'm not going to get all excited about this.

This reminds me of cold fusion in a way. Because people were willing to accept miniscule energy yields as "proof" of cold fusion there were many experiements which initially seemed to support the notion of cold fusion, but that's because the energy "yields" being generated were coming from other sources which were not only more easily explained through normal chemistry, but which were also not commercially scalable. The result was a bubble of excitement about cold fusion that ended up making science look very bad to the public. I don't want to see that happen again, when science and politics collide, usually both lose.

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13. Andrew Garland on October 24, 2008 9:55 AM writes...

If there were another state of Hydrogen, wouldn't there be enough high-energy emmissions from radioactive decay to produce that state, at random?

Any piece of granite with both uranium and water (and other hydrogen containing compounds) would accumulate some of this H-lowstate. It would be everywhere. Why has it been overlooked in the detailed chemical and spectroscopic analyses that have been done for 100 years?

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14. Tim on October 24, 2008 10:08 AM writes...

James,

You miss the point. All that we have seen demonstrated so far is that they have an exothermic reaction. As there are many chemical exothermic reactions, and so for no proven hydrino reactions, it takes a bit more to prove the theory (remembering cold fusion with a shudder).

When your results can have more than one cause, independent verification of exactly what is happening at an atomic level will be necessary. Failing that, producing reactors will suffice...... even a 3kw reactor over a long period would generate proof.

Permalink to Comment

15. philw1776 on October 24, 2008 10:34 AM writes...

What should serve as a warning sign for all is BL's constant moving of the goal posts regarding demos of their supposed 50 KW reactors. Earlier this year they trumpeted that by September '08 they would have several demo units out at selected power companies for Beta test. Now, their postion is 2009 or at worst 2010. This is not the 1st time a stated BL deadline has moved. As a engineering guy myself I'm well aware of missed deadlines, but these guys were inside the Red Zone in timeframe and have now blithely simply issued different dates.

Permalink to Comment

16. Neil Ferguson on October 24, 2008 10:40 AM writes...

Everyone knows that a stopped clock is right twice a day. But in the same vein a slower clock is less accurate than a faster clock. Since there is no such thing as a perfectly accurate clock, the most accurate clock in the world is the one running fastest.

Famous quote: "Extraordinary claims require substantial venture capital."

Permalink to Comment

17. Rip on October 24, 2008 10:54 AM writes...

So basically, you didn't understand what they were doing at all, and had no clue what the experiment was about, yet still felt it was legitimate to criticize their claims.

Great. Thanks.

Permalink to Comment

18. Andreas on October 24, 2008 11:05 AM writes...

Hi Zach,

Could there be a theory that contains the Schrodinger and Dirac equations? Meaning that it predicts all the states that the Schrodiner and Direc equations, and some more?

(I am not saying Mills' theory is this theory, just a general thought).

For over 200 years, people thought Newton's theory is correct, then Einstein came up with an even more general theory that contains Newton's under certain conditions.

Permalink to Comment

19. sigma147 on October 24, 2008 11:10 AM writes...

I recall talking with Randy while I was an undergrad at F&M back in the late '80's. He was still hanging around the chemistry department, working with Prof. John Farrell. At any rate, he was fleshing out many of the ideas that are up on BL's web site back then.

He struck me as a very intelligent and earnest individual. He really believed in the ideas he had - Mossbauer-effect radiation treatment for cancer, his unified theory of physics, and others. Still does, so it appears from the BL website. I never had the impression that he was out to scam anyone with his ideas - he truly believed in them.

That said, even as an undergrad, many of his ideas just didn't jibe with what I was learning in P-chem and physics. Let's just say that I was a bit sceptical that he would go anywhere with them. I find it interesting that he's still out there, trying to make a go at this.

Mind you, I very much adhere to the "extraordinary claims" quote - I wouldn't fund anything like what BL is doing without seeing some pretty substantial proof-of-concept work.

Sigma147

Permalink to Comment

20. TFox on October 24, 2008 11:10 AM writes...

So let's posit the theory as reasonable for a moment. Why is calorimetry the best way to test it experimentally? What's wrong with spectroscopy, like how we looked at atomic energy levels in undergrad physics labs?

Permalink to Comment

21. Eric on October 24, 2008 11:16 AM writes...

We can't afford to continue with the failed policies of Schroedinger. But with HOPE we can CHANGE hydrogen!

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22. James on October 24, 2008 11:26 AM writes...

Thanks for everyone's comments.

It seems that I've triggered the idea of:

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

I guess there is a certain truth to that, but it begs the question of what is "extraordinary" on the evidence side. The feeling I get is that most commentators here won't be satisfied until an actual commercial facility is generating power and revenue.

I guess I would say that the Rowen University experiment seems pretty close to "extraordinary" evidence. Unless people are claiming the test was fraudulent somehow, the professor was purposefully lying. Or the professor really didn't understand what he was doing.

James

Permalink to Comment

23. Daniel Newby on October 24, 2008 11:32 AM writes...

I'm still not buying it. Let us assume that a hydrogen atom's electron can transition to a state that cannot be reached by the usual radiative mechanisms involving (freely propagaing) dipole photons. In Feynman's theory of quantum electrodynamics, the properties of a particle are determined by summing the particle's path integral over all possible virtual processes that it might participate in, including processes that are extremely rare. This can be used to predict the electron's gyromagnetic ratio, which matches measurements to an astounding 10 significant figures or so. It is not plausible that electrons participate in a new process that is two orders of magnitude stronger than the known processes, yet this new process has no detectable effect on the path integral and therefore the gyromagnetic ratio.

Then there are astrophysical considerations. The core of a large Jupiter-like body is mostly hydrogen under high pressure. If the hypothesized non-radiative process is powered by electrostatic attraction between the proton and the electron, then hydrinos must be smaller than hydrogen atoms, at least an order of magnitude to account for the tremendous energy release. In the high-pressure interior of a Jupiter-like body, that shrinkage would be highly energetically favorable, and there would be plenty of catalytic trace elements floating around to make it happen. Therefore gas giant planets should be vastly smaller and denser, and have a tremendous internal energy source from continuing hydrino formation. This is not observed. Similar arguments would apply to super-dense stars, where the hydrino state would probably be preferred to degenerate matter, vastly altering the equation of state and therefore the mass of Type I supernovas (exploding white dwarfs).

There seems no reason why the hydrino transformation should not be possible for one of a helium atom's electrons but not the other. Such atoms would behave a lot like hydrogen with an atomic mass around 4. These atoms are not observed either chemically or spectroscopically.

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24. Benjamin Winkler on October 24, 2008 11:34 AM writes...

Since there is no such thing as a perfectly accurate clock, the most accurate clock in the world is the one running fastest.

Hmm. By that rationale, a clock which was running with infinite speed would always be right, except for infinitesimally small periods of time which recurred frequently. Thus, you could never really get a reading on whether the clock was "right" - you could just express a probability that, at any given period of time, it was correct because the position of the hands matched up with the actual time.

I think there's some analogy here to quantum mechanics, but I haven't the education to guess what it is.

Permalink to Comment

25. TW Andrews on October 24, 2008 12:01 PM writes...

So basically, you didn't understand what they were doing at all, and had no clue what the experiment was about, yet still felt it was legitimate to criticize their claims.

Great. Thanks.

That a trained scientist can't understand what they're doing is a legitimate cause for skepticism.

Permalink to Comment

26. Andrew on October 24, 2008 12:10 PM writes...

Derek,

Thanks for looking into this. I'm quite disappointed in some of the comments to your post. For starters the call for more vitriol. That type of thing is never in short supply so I hardly see the need for more of it.

By coincidence for the last couple of weeks I've been looking into what research is going on in alternative energy. I'd never heard of Blacklight before until stumbling across a mention of it last week while reading about polywell fusion. I've read through several blog postings and comments, a couple of online articles and some of the material on the Blacklight website.

So I'm completely aware of all of the prior controversy with this company. And certainly a huge amount of skepticism is both appropriate and desirable. However from what I can tell, there has never been much serious effort to investigate any of the claims (over say the past 10 years)

There were a couple of earlier comments along the lines of why don't we see the these lower energy states of hydrogen and how could water exist as we know it. I read through the introduction of the book posted on the Blacklight site. Now when I say 'read through' that doesn't mean I followed the details.. I was just trying to get a basic idea of the claims. Their explanation seems to be that hydrogen in the n=1 state will not radiate energy away without some type of catalyst. I'm not qualified to evaluate the merits of the argument, but at least there's an attempt at an explanation.

Another misconception I see is that the Blacklight claims are somehow diametrically opposed to science as we know it. From what I can tell they're only saying that quantum mechanics theory is not right. However, they don't claim that any experiments are wrong. Nor do they claim that special or general relativity are wrong. So basically they seem to be saying that they have a better theory than quantum mechanics in that it explains the same experimental evidence as quantum mechanics but also explains other things that quantum mechanics doesn't.

I understand that most people don't have the time to really look into things like this. But I think there's more to it than that. I think that a lot of people are overly reluctant to reexamine their assumptions- especially people who have spent a lot of time learning the currently accepted theories.

From what I can tell from looking at what documents are posted on the Blackwell site, there should be more than enough information there to conclusively debunk them if they're wrong. Unfortunately, I can understand that no one has the time, incentive or educational background to do so.

In no way am I claiming that they are right, but I do get the feeling that something interesting will come out of this.

Permalink to Comment

27. Blake on October 24, 2008 12:11 PM writes...

Daniel, I understand your thesis, but question the premise on which it is based.

I'm old enough to vaguely remember some pretty wild thoughts about the makeup of the planets in our solar system. Subsequent analysis proved a lot of those theories false.

Now, while we have a better understanding of planets in our solar system, we still have some pretty big gaps.

Heck, we still have a limited understanding of our own planet.

Don't get me wrong, I think a healthy skepticism of the the claims by Blacklight are entirely correct.

However, I don't think we have enough knowledge of our own solar system to use it as a basis for debunking the claims of Blacklight

Permalink to Comment

28. bc on October 24, 2008 12:18 PM writes...

As fate would have it, in my youth, I was embroiled in a con man scheme of this type. We were claiming we had an equally preposterously valuable product for data storage. The M.O. of the team leader (who ended up in San Quentin) was to get up in front of real top corporate technology guys who would ask tough questions. The questions would be modified and recycled into the narrative thus continually tweaking the sales pitch. This process culminated in a level of techno-babble so impressive in its pseudo content that we raised millions in venture funding. That didn't make it any less evil. I busted the guy when I realized what we were doing, but he did a lot of damage.

Permalink to Comment

29. Hap on October 24, 2008 12:29 PM writes...

Why use RaNi as the support? RaNi contributes a lot of surface area, but also lots of other stuff that makes finding the energy output by calorimetry difficult - it would seem easier to use highly pure NaH/KH (which should be obtainable in quantity) and some other (less reactive) support. I don't know if you can generate a surface layer of NaH or KH on gold or silicon, but that might be another possibility, and one in which it would be easier to see the postulated effects.

It's nice to see BP respond. I don't believe it yet, but my belief is irrelevant - if it works, there will be some very wealthy people at BP.

Permalink to Comment

30. Hap on October 24, 2008 12:32 PM writes...

Why use RaNi as the support? RaNi contributes a lot of surface area, but also lots of other stuff that makes finding the energy output by calorimetry difficult - it would seem easier to use highly pure NaH/KH (which should be obtainable in quantity) and some other (less reactive) support. I don't know if you can generate a surface layer of NaH or KH on gold or silicon, but that might be another possibility, and one in which it would be easier to see the postulated effects.

It's nice to see BP respond. I don't believe it yet, but my belief is irrelevant - if it works, there will be some very wealthy people at BP.

Permalink to Comment

31. Anonymous on October 24, 2008 12:32 PM writes...

@Daniel,

Interesting that you should mention astrophysical effects. I believe that Mills claims unexplained peaks in the EUV spectrum of the solar corona exactly match certain hydrino transitions. To me that sounds like a better solution to the solar corona problem than magnetic 'flux tubes' or similar nonsense that flies in the face of the 2nd law of TD. I have also seen recent evidence based on observation of dwarf galaxies to the effect that dark matter is more baryonic than once thought, and might consist of "hard-to-detect" gaseous hydrogen, what Mills would call di-hydrino gas. Could it be that hydrinos explain the solar corona, dark matter and the solar neutrino problem all in one go?

Permalink to Comment

32. Dave Eaton on October 24, 2008 12:34 PM writes...

That a trained scientist can't understand what they're doing is a legitimate cause for skepticism.

I'd say that differently. An honest trained scientist will admit every day that he encounters stuff outside his or her field that they just don't get. It's when someone claims to be overturning well-established stuff in the process that the spider-sense starts to itch.

These guys make all sorts of internal alarms go off, and are likely all wet theoretically, and maybe experimentally, but this is harder to say. My only issue was with the idea that one has to show one's hind quarters and fling poo when someone makes goofy, but empriically testable claims, as opposed to appeals for funding from the naive. The investors who have put up the dough may be dumb, and they may be looking for something sure to fail to claim losses. Before I disparage anyone's investment acuity, I should take a hard look at my 401K statement that came yesterday...

I like Bob Park's site, and his refreshingly profane and frank opinions. I'd take a different tack, but so what?

Permalink to Comment

33. SRC on October 24, 2008 1:01 PM writes...

I share Derek's perspective 100%. As long as these guys are doing no harm, and are getting their money from qualified investors, God love 'em - go ahead and try to break new ground. I'm intensely skeptical, but open-minded, so bring me the dispositive data and I'll reconsider my skepticism.

Now if we could only get this same perspective extended to global warming, then we'd really have something - namely, the basis for a rational decision, rather than a religious movement.

Permalink to Comment

34. cookingwithsolvents on October 24, 2008 2:54 PM writes...

blacklight had ads in C&E News for new staff. . .anybody go on an interview?

Maybe I should have applied and seen what they are up to, experimentally (at least as much as you get in the context of an interview).

Permalink to Comment

35. James Wood on October 24, 2008 3:31 PM writes...

It is clear to me that much comment about Blacklight Power is ill informed and far too certain. I think that commentators either pro or con should face fines or jail time if they are wrong. There is just too much obfuscation here and elsewhere on the web. It needs to be curbed.

Permalink to Comment

36. Dave Eaton on October 24, 2008 3:43 PM writes...

I think that commentators either pro or con should face fines or jail time if they are wrong.

Excellent idea. From this day forward, I will not do any experiments with a hypothesis in mind, lest I be wrong, and thus sow confusion, and I will certainly not get out and argue about scientific points. Heaven forbid obfuscation occur. (Can we apply the same rules to politicians, baseball managers, and economists, jailing them when what they claim turns out to be incorrect and/or they deliberately obscure their meanings?)

Besides, I've always suspected that my flasks can read my thoughts and deliberately subvert my reactions. I'll approach the hood with a perfectly clear mind from now on.

While I am busy doing that, could you please take care of the repeal of the 1st amendment? Thanks.

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37. Zach on October 24, 2008 3:49 PM writes...

Could there be a theory that contains the Schrodinger and Dirac equations? Meaning that it predicts all the states that the Schrodiner and Direc equations, and some more?

Predicting states that don't exist is just as bad as failing to predict states that do exist. Worse, if you're trying to persuade people to invest money in a process which won't work if those states don't exist.

The catalysis argument is just a red herring. When two atoms interact, their electrons aren't feeling anything other than electromagnetic forces (and Pauli exclusion from the other electrons in the system).

If these states existed, they would show up in spectroscopic experiments like a beacon. Even worse, as I argued above, statistical mechanics says every atom we see around us every day of our lives should be in one of these states.

I like new theories as much as the next guy. But when a new theory predicts that every spectroscopic experiment done since the mid 1800s should have seen a state that has in fact never been seen, or when a new theory predicts that every atom in the world should be in a state which no atoms have ever been seen in, that theory isn't worth your time. You don't need new experiments, because it's falsified by experiments which have already been done.

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38. Hap on October 24, 2008 4:23 PM writes...

James,

If you want obfuscation to cease, unambiguous experimental results would help. If qualified people can't understand what your experiments mean, then perhaps it isn't that the population you're appealing to isn't able to understand your results, but that you simply have to explain them better. If the results are there (and the founder already stated that he isn't looking for money, so analysis of the current results isn't likely to prevent him from obtaining the appropriate evidence if his theories are correct), the criticism is irrelevant, and BlP will make money hand over fist. If the results aren't there, then the criticism is the least of the company's problems.

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39. SRC on October 24, 2008 5:23 PM writes...

It is clear to me that much comment about Blacklight Power is ill informed and far too certain. I think that commentators either pro or con should face fines or jail time if they are wrong. There is just too much obfuscation here and elsewhere on the web. It needs to be curbed.

Looks like I spoke too soon.

James, the point is that, until dispositive data are forthcoming, scientific issues are matters of conjecture and debate. Questioning the soundness of a protagonist's evidence or reasoning is not a matter for the field of honor, still less for the criminal justice system.

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40. JK on October 24, 2008 6:17 PM writes...

There's an outside chance they've stumbled on something empirically interesting. There's nothing wrong with letting them try.

From skimming their theory I'd say the chances they have a correct theory cannot be distinguished from zero.

Wikipedia gives a quote from physics nobel winner Doug Osheroff:

'[Mills] may be creating compounds with unusual properties. This is obviously a rather clever guy, and he may be onto something, but he seems to think it's more fundamental than it really is.'

Seems reasonable to me.

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41. Brian Macker on October 24, 2008 7:36 PM writes...

"I share Derek's perspective 100%. As long as these guys are doing no harm, and are getting their money from qualified investors ..."

The fact that they invested in this actually proves that they are unqualified investors, also known as chumps. They have been scammed.

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42. Mack on October 24, 2008 8:38 PM writes...

How is asserting a scam without proof a scientific position? BLP should be judged on the evidence they offer not wild defamatory assertions. And the evidence he offers is extremely cogent.

He can get greater amounts of energy out of his reactions than the largest amount able to be generated by the most energetic chemical reaction. (This is what Rowan's verification was all about - heat the empty cell, measure power in and out and there is not much difference. Add BLP's NaH to the cell, heat it and at a certain point and you get a massive temperature spike.) That's what they tested repeatedly over 9 months and that's what they got, time after time.

This isn't cold fusion which never worked on demand and had no viable theory of how it worked at all. It's not magnetic motors, magical vacuum energy, Tilley's recharger, or what have you.

What Mills has done is basic experimental science. Extraordinary claims require the same proof as any other claims. So what if he proves QM wrong and replaces it with a truly physical classical model based on cause and effect? It was bound to happen as soon as anyone developed a workable Grand United Theory. It might put a few nobel prize winner's noses out of joint that they were awarded prizes for something that turned out to be wrong but that misses the point- science is an ongoing process that builds upon what has gone before. If Mills theory eventually replaces all theories to become the one and only GUT, then he reached that point only because of all the advances done by others before him.

BTW his hydrino chemicals have already been scanned some years ago using NMR and showed anomalies that the scientist conducting the tests was prepared to state on the public record were things he'd never seen encountered before in normal matter.

We have the spectral lines from the sun's corona, which match the predictions of his theory for H and He+ catalyst hydrino transitions. If correct, hydrinos have been staring us all in the face since the sun's been shining and it also provides us with an answer to the dark matter problem.

Scams don't write books, write papers for journals, provide samples of their materials for testing, align themselves with universities to get their results duplicated. If you don't like their theory fine but you have to look at the physical evidence and come up with another explanation if you don't want to accept his.

I'm betting this is real. There's too much evidence, he's been extremely open with his data and had in external scientists who are persuaded by the experimental data. He wants people to test this. We should all support that.

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43. Anonymous BMS Researcher on October 24, 2008 11:02 PM writes...


I was in Grad School when Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons reported they had attained cold fusion. At the time my thesis advisor's opinion was "99% chance they're wrong, but a 1% chance they're right multiplied by the potential VALUE if they are right makes a product large enough to justify putting some work into checking this out."

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44. Brett on October 24, 2008 11:47 PM writes...

A basic introduction to the atomic theory component of Mills' theory is available here:

http://knol.google.com/k/brett-holverstott/the-grand-unified-theory-of-classical/32k4ylspoy8k6/2?locale=en#

There is much more that I haven't added to the article yet.

What you will see is that Mills is replacing quantum theory with a new, fully classical, atomic model based on the classical nonradiation condition. Mills predicts hydrino states (as well as thousands of other known experimental values) from this model.

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45. JackRabbit on October 25, 2008 2:00 AM writes...

I guess for me if this hydrino stuff is indeed real then why wouldn't they have published their results in a top tier journal like Science or Nature.

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46. Andreas on October 25, 2008 4:22 AM writes...

(Zach:) Predicting states that don't exist is just as bad as failing to predict states that do exist.

So I think one question is whether, physically, these fractional states do exist or not; independent of whether they are predicted by the theories and equations of Mills, Schrodinger or Dirac. The ultimate arbiter here is nature.

It is my understanding from reading over some of the material publioshed by Blacklight Power, that those fractional states are only observed in the presence of certain catalysts, otherwise they are not observed.

So can we really say that they don't exist?

Of course it could be well that these states do in fact not exist, and the Schrodinger and Dirac equations are predicting all states. In that case Mills could have found some kind of a hitherto unknown chemical process that releases extraordinary amounts of energy, but which is less fundamental than he thinks.

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47. James on October 25, 2008 8:40 AM writes...

Kudos to you, Dr. Lowe, for taking the time to analyze these BlackLight claims. It may be that nothing comes of it, but at the least, it's a chance for us laymen to see how a scientist approaches such bold claims.

BLP has now put up the video as promised: http://www.blacklightpower.com/Documentary%20Video/blacklight_experiment_video_v2.wmv

To this layman, it appears that what they have a reaction like this:

(H-doped R-Ni catalyst powder) + (some heat) -> (R-Ni) + (50% more heat than put in)

An exothermic reaction. But is this anything groundbreaking or useful? I guess it depends on how much it costs to prepare the doped R-Ni? And whether there is an efficient way to put this into a looped system as Dr. Mills claims he has?

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48. Brett Bellmore on October 25, 2008 9:56 AM writes...

"To me that sounds like a better solution to the solar corona problem than magnetic 'flux tubes' or similar nonsense that flies in the face of the 2nd law of TD."

The sun is hot, space is cold. Organized magnetic structures in the Sun no more violates the laws of thermodynamics than the existence of convection cells in that pot of water I set to boiling on the stove. And flux tubes in the Sun are consistent with considerable observational data.

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49. onscrn on October 25, 2008 10:12 AM writes...

The theory behind this supposed energy source is Mills's "Grand Unified Theory of Classical Physics (GUTCP) with results that match observations for the basic phenomena of physics and chemistry from the scale of the quarks to cosmos." This achievement would seem to place Mills substantially above Einstein in the history of physics. It seems he's come up with the "Final Theory."

The funny part is that not only has Mills not picked up a Nobel Prize yet, no one has heard of his theory. I wonder why he chose to publish it in places like "Physics Essays" instead of Physical Review. Something to do with strict peer review I'd guess. I'm surprised at how easily some people are taken in.

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50. pierce wetter on October 25, 2008 11:48 AM writes...

here's my prdiction. Mills has the physics wrong but the engineering right.

According to wikipedia, hydrinos are possible under relativistic quantum mechanics.

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51. Loosenut on October 25, 2008 1:53 PM writes...

Not being biased by scientific knowledge this seems like we have proof of something extraordinairy happening (no clue what the actual science is). Here's my poll which I think includes all the possible explanations - please answer my responding to this post:

1) Do you think it is fraud and the University profs are complicit?
2) Do you think the profs made a mistake in their process and made a 100x magnitude measurement error 55 times?
3) You disagree with the science but believe the results?

My (scientifically ignorant answer) is 3

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52. LongOfTooth on October 25, 2008 3:57 PM writes...

"...1) Do you think it is fraud and the University profs are complicit?..."


For what it's worth I've seen similar things happen when it came to the testing of new drugs.


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53. Anonymous on October 25, 2008 4:01 PM writes...

4) Mills has science right, people finally starting to pay attention. Sorry, experiment doesn't work without correct science.

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54. Tom on October 25, 2008 5:34 PM writes...

Ok, I’ll put in my 2 cents too…

I am certainly in no position to determine how history view Dr. Mill’s and his work. But, he’s not taking my tax dollars or scamming senior citizens out of their retirement. It appears these investors had the means to do their due diligence. I’m sure at the time of investment, all of them realized this was to be a high-risk component of their portfolio.

Dr. Mills seems to truly believe he doing something important, and has a passion for his work. He may very well be proved wrong, but that does not make him a criminal.

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55. drug_hunter on October 26, 2008 1:08 AM writes...

Guys - come on. I remember the furor in 1989 over cold fusion. In fact I was at the Dallas ACS meeting and attended the media circus presentation. Three months later ... no reliable peer-reviewed confirmations of their results. Hmmmn ... and here, we don't even have many (any?) original peer-reviewed papers on the subject at hand. So why are we wasting all this bandwidth discussing this, like it matters? I'd rather have Derek write about more chemicals that would kill me in interesting ways when I mishandle them in the hood.

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56. drug_hunter on October 26, 2008 1:13 AM writes...

I forgot to post the link to "The seven warning signs of bogus science". A classic.

chronicle.com/free/v49/i21/21b02001.htm

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57. Dave on October 26, 2008 1:40 AM writes...

It's amazing to me that so many commenters dismiss this out of hand when it's obvious they have not read any of Dr. Mills' papers or the GUT. The strongest evidence for me are the closed form formulas derivable from the theory with only fundamental constants and no fudge factors that agree closely with measurements in all cases so far (one through 20 electron atoms). You can't make this stuff up. Dr. Mills theory is certainly no half-baked free energy crackpot scheme as some here suggest. At the very least it allows calculation of molecular structures that is beyond any another theory. But dogma is dogma and resists change in whatever field. The history of science is full of well accepted theories that have been completely overturned starting with the flat earth.

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58. drug_hunter on October 26, 2008 2:57 AM writes...

Regarding the comment that some of us are "dismissing this out of hand" and are basically luddites and flat-earthers -- that's just pablum and doesn't belong on this normaly excellent blog.

Who among us would vote for repealing the principal that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, and if not, who would agree that there has not been even ORDINARY proof given to date of any of the extraordinary claims made by this company? For me, I'm just asking for peer review and validation. I call that common sense. A press release claiming that someone has confirmed their claims doesn't count. Not extraordinary proof.

And there is also something to the fact that this guy has been on the verge of solving the world's energy problems for more than a decade and the story keeps changing. My spidey senses are tingling.

Finally, I think Derek has to be careful from now on. Clearly Randall has gotten to him somehow -- perhaps his voice carries a special power, like Sauruman's? -- and Derek is now on the verge of becoming a True Believer. Derek, be sure to finger your Dreiding models next time while reciting the lyrics to the old Tom Lehrer periodic table song.

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59. PeterW on October 26, 2008 7:42 AM writes...

>JackRabbit on October 25, 2008 2:00 AM wrote...

>I guess for me if this hydrino stuff is indeed real then why wouldn't they have published their results in a top tier journal like Science or Nature.
It is obvious from many comments that those journals would never accept an article from Miulls - or not yet, anyway. Suggestions that quantum theory went down wrong path 70 years ago are totally unacceptable to the peer reviewers.

On another point: Mills does not claim the H ground state is unstable, and indeed states that it is not possible to get to hydrino states just by radiating energy. So we can exist, contrary to a few recent comments. Recent cosmological observations are tending to support the Hydrino theory, just as, some years past, observations confirmed the acceleration of the expansion of the universe, as predicted by Mills a couple of years earlier (no big bang, but rather an oscillation).

Furthermore, Mills was chasing energy from a plasma for several years, and it was too difficult. Then, in 2007, a paper showing 3W was published, from a quite different technology of catalysts. A breakthough. And in May 2008 a claim for a 50 kW pulse, further elaborated at Rowan to 1 Mjoule surplus. This, from a very small amount of hydrogen. I am sure that in 2009 there will be results showing more sustained power, with an extra H injection once the reaction has started.
So wait and see!

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60. Matthew on October 26, 2008 10:40 AM writes...

@drug_hunter

If the blacklight is producing net power, and you are wrong, your status won't decrease much, right? But those who are fooled by a clever scammer have a much greater chance of real loss in their reputation. I don't see any reason to try to replace one unknown with another unknown. No one learns anything usefull from that. There are so many false claims, we need skeptics to keep them at bay. This is generally true.

However, sxtraordinary claims are only extraordinary when you are extraordinarilly wrong. Otherwise its 'just' true, which requires no extraordinary evidence.

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61. anon on October 26, 2008 10:41 AM writes...

"I’ll invite readers to do the same if they wish, and to post queries about the stuff in the comments here (or to e-mail them to me). We’ll come back for another round as the process goes on."

A long while back someone tried to tell me that nascent hydrogen has greater reducing power than the usual sort of hydrogen (ie the stuff out of a bottle/cylinder). Thought it was utter bollocks at the time but ...?

Anyone heard this before? If there is any anecdotal evidence of this phenomenon, I'd be curious to hear about it. The relevance to the original post should be obvious.

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62. Great Molecular Crapshoot on October 26, 2008 6:37 PM writes...

Are these low energy states of hydrogen electronic or nuclear? If electronic, how is the hydrogen decoupled from the rest of the system so that the low energy can be 'assigned' to it? Didn't some really smart guys who won a Nobel prize in economics set up a hedge fund based on math that none of The Great Unwashed could understand? Didn't that hedge fund go pear shaped?

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63. Neil Ferguson on October 26, 2008 8:02 PM writes...

The energy states of electrons Dr. Mills claims pertain to chemical not nuclear characteristics.

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64. RB Woodweird on October 27, 2008 6:47 AM writes...

I knew Schrodinger. Schrodinger was my friend. You, "Dr." Mills, are no Schrodinger.

But Schrodinger is dead, and I can't ask him for his quantum mechanical opinions anymore, so I have to fall back on an old truth: Money talks and bullshit walks.

If hydrinos are real, I would by now have been able to put up ready cash and buy some device that makes/uses/detects them.

Oh, and now that you have invoked the dread name of Blacklight, this blog will be inundated by the shills and trolls. Prepare to have our intimate conversations of pharma biz and lab hazards amidst the crashing waves of the marching morons.

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65. jpo on October 27, 2008 11:34 AM writes...

Can somebody comment on Mills paper where he compares the results of his molecular modeling application with QM modeling results?

http://www.millsian.com/papers/modeling101208S.pdf

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66. Jonadab the Unsightly One on October 27, 2008 6:52 PM writes...

> And one has to remember that the track record
> of odd, improbable physics breakthroughs that
> promise huge supplies of energy is. . .not good.

Oh, it's not altogether unprecedented. It's not the way to bet, but it has been known to happen. Once. Well, once that I can think of (namely, the discovery of the equivalence of matter and energy and the ability to convert small bits of the former into quite substantial amounts of the latter).

On the one hand, it is worth pointing out that the physics involved on that one occasion was so weird and improbable that Einstein himself wasn't fully comfortable with it. Yet, it works, and we do indeed produce significant amounts of energy in this fashion.

On the other hand, if I had a nickel for every time some (I'll be kind with my terminology here) independent researcher has touted weird and improbable physics that promised piles and piles of free energy and *failed* to deliver, I could no doubt buy myself an island to retire on. Honshu, perhaps.

So while it would be scientifically foolish to automatically dismiss and mock a new idea in physics solely because it's weird and improbable, it would at the same time be quite thoroughly inadvisable to throw money into every one that comes down the pike or, frankly, any one that comes down the pike for that matter.

Hence...

> Anyone who puts serious cash into them can
> do their own due diligence (and they'd better!)

Indeed.

> Some things in nature are very well understood.
> The hydrogen atom is one such thing, possibly
> the best understood. There is no lower energy
> state of hydrogen.

If that were strictly so, the H-bomb wouldn't work. (Okay, so in the lower-energy state it's not hydrogen anymore. Granted. That doesn't stop the technology from working.)

Please note that I'm not saying Blacklight's stuff is at all likely to work. As I said above, that's not the way to bet if you're playing by the odds, not by a longshot of epic proportions. Under no circumstances would I put any of *my* money into it.

But I agree with Derek that so long as they're not asking for money, it's reasonable to cut them a bit of slack.

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67. Lee Cage on October 28, 2008 5:41 AM writes...

Science is not a religion, the proof is in the pudding. Some people seem to be taking what blacklight claim as a personnel insult; surely something like this would get the mind churning over the possibilities of where/if current theories may be wrong, isn't this a good thing for science?
I'm not a scientist, but if I was, I would be intrigued to find out that something I thought I knew and spent years studying may not even be scratching the surface of a much bigger picture.

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68. DarQ DawG on October 28, 2008 7:40 AM writes...

"If hydrinos are real, I would by now have been able to put up ready cash and buy some device that makes/uses/detects them."

And if hot nuclear fusion took place in exactly the manner that the standard model claims, after 60 years and $60 billion taxpayer dollars, I would be purchasing some percentage of my electric bill from hot nuclear fusion reactors.

Since this is not the case I can only conclude that nuclear physicists are full of $#!%. The proof is as proof does.

At least Mills isn't slurping at Uncle Sam's dairy engorged man boobs. His success or failure won't cost me a dime. Until he begs for a billion $ bailout, I don't have a problem with him. Too bad I can't say the same for the next round of tokamak research that solicits government funding.

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69. Andrew on October 28, 2008 3:19 PM writes...

So I'm continuing to read through Chapter 1 of Mills' book. I don't have the background to understand much of the details on the first pass. However, on page 89 there's a section called electron g-factor. He derives a formula for g based on the sum of stored magnetic energy, stored electric energy and dissipated energy. This turns out to be a polynomial formula in alpha (the fine structure constant). The formula agrees with experiment to the same level of accuracy as the QED theoretical calculation. I don't see an actual number for the QED theoretical calculation, but from looking at the wikipedia page called Anonalous Magnetic Moment it appears that this is also some type of series in alpha (although it says terms only up to fourth order have been calculated) and it appears it would be an infinite series. There seem to be a lot of published papers on calculating these terms and doing so appears to involve rather difficult numerical calculations. So as far as I can tell the two methods are completely different but both give the same level of accuracy. However Mills has a closed form formula. I curious if anyone who has more background in this could comment. If Mills' stuff is complete bull, I can't see how he would be able to do this.

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70. Anonymous on October 28, 2008 11:57 PM writes...

Andrew, you're just scratching the surface. Mills can generate just about every atomic and molecular property in closed form to experimental accuracy. Take a look at the section called "Computation Files" on his website. His model simply beggars models based on Schroedinger.

When I point this out to so-called "physicists", they tend to get somewhat bitter.

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71. Anonymous on October 29, 2008 8:10 AM writes...

something to think about: Raney nickel is a high surface sponge like catalyst which is pyrophor, i.e. burns/oxidizes exothermally with oxygen. It also catalyses many (often exothermic) reactions.
If after heating the cell from somewhere Oxygen is released it will react exothermally (heat) with the Raney-Nickel...

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72. Andreas on October 29, 2008 9:31 AM writes...

@ Andrew (69.)

Andrew. your observation is correct. Mills has given closed form formulas. Not only that, he has closed form formulas with no fudge factors that need to be supplied from the outside.

I have followed Blacklight Power for many years now, but still can't find a physicist who wants to even spend the time to simply verify or falsify whether these formulas give the same results as QED.

It seems to me that no serious physicist wants to put his neck out. Neither to side with Mills (for fear of embarassement), not to have a closer look (for fear of finding out that his formulas do indeed describe nature very well).

Isn't that strange?

Andreas

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73. Anonymous on October 29, 2008 9:57 AM writes...

Here's a test: try updating http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anomalous_magnetic_dipole_moment with the correct (closed-form) equation and see what happens.

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74. jpo on October 29, 2008 10:05 AM writes...

@Andreas(72)

Isn't that strange?

No, they just know that he is wrong.

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75. Thicket on October 29, 2008 10:23 AM writes...

I can't resist putting in my two bits.

First, regarding the Rowan University study.

To pump up their claims of legitimacy, Blacklight Power paid for a technical study by Rowan University. Calorimetry tests were done on a proprietary material.

Here are the basics on the tests for the 'large' 50kW unit.

* Heat up 1.5 kg of proprietary material with 800 watts of power.
* Observe that the temperature of the proprietary material rises to 750 degrees C.
* Calculate that there was 1 million joules more energy generated than was used to heat the proprietary material.

I have no idea what the proprietary material is although Mills gives us plenty of clues. Let me pick a possible exotic substance. I pick wood.

The heat generated from burning 1.5 kg of wood is about 23 million joules. If I used a match to light the wood, the matchhead temperature would be about 750 degrees C.

To generate 1 million joules of excess energy, I would need to burn less than 5% percent of my wood.

I know that the proprietary material is not wood. It could be coal, a solid impregnated with oil, a solid with chemically-bound hydrogen that releases and burns when heated --- heck, it could be lots of very ordinary stuff.

I saw no obvious errors in the Rowan University Study. They haven't compromised themselves. They did some technical work and reported the results. They don't endorse or refute Blacklight Power's physics-shattering claims.

However, anyone who thinks that the university study somehow demonstrates a new energy source from a lower resting state of hydrogen is smoking funny stuff.

Rowan University did previous work for Blacklight Power about 5 years ago. NASA provided funds for the study. The results were interesting, but again there was no substantiation of Blacklight's claims.

Is Blacklight Power a scam? *shrug* I don't know. Mills may be delusional. There are many examples of qualified, well-meaning scientists who were so committed to their pet theories that they were incapable of objectively doing research (e.g. N-rays, polywater)

The claim that new investment money is not needed by Blacklight sends up a huge red flag for me. I've seen that statement numerous times before for failed physics-breaking, investment-sucking claims.

The Irish company, Steorn, made exactly the same claim about their 'free-energy' technology. Turns out that investment money was continuing to flow in, as proven by official tax documentation.

It could be that Blacklight already has the investors that will put in new money. The claim that new investors aren't being sought could easily be an attempt to convince us of their legitimacy.

Finally, I whole-heartedly agree with the posters that say 'show me' with an actual working model that generates useful amounts of energy. We can talk about hydrogen energy levels and Schrodinger equations until we're blue in the face and prove nothing.

Colour me deeply skeptical.

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76. Thicket on October 29, 2008 12:01 PM writes...

The current Blacklight Power claims of hydrogen energy levels revolve around challenging physics. However, they don't claim to be 'free-energy' or 'perpetual motion'.

Apparently, this was not always the case.

For example, there was court case many years ago. Here is a summary (note: not my material).
-----------
Blacklight Power Inc. v. Dickinson

The PTO withdrew the patent originally allowed to Blacklight Power when a further review found the subject matter - which entailed cold fusion and perpetual motion - to be unpatentable under 37 CFR 1:313 (b)(3). August 15, 2000.
------------
I wonder how and why Blacklight Power went from debunked cold fusion/perpetual motion to hydrogen energy levels? I wonder if they'll change approaches again?

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77. Thicket on October 29, 2008 1:09 PM writes...

Challenging physics is not the only field that Mills excels in. At one point he claimed to be on the cutting edge of fighting AIDS and cancer.

From a January 25, 2000 article;

"You'll go in to see your doctor and he'll check you out with my scanner," Mills predicts. "If he finds cancer, you'll be treated for it as an outpatient with my therapy. If he finds something else—hypertension, an infection, arthritis—almost any medicine that he'll use will be more efficacious when he uses my drug-delivery molecule."

Wow... a drug delivery molecule that fights cancer, AIDS and other diseases. If this is true, Dr. Mills may be the first person to win the Nobel prize for Physics AND Medicine... or maybe even Chemistry.

So... how many of you would buy a used car from Dr. Mills?

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78. gordon on October 29, 2008 2:04 PM writes...

Just a thought.
Perhaps they're handling the hydrogen electron as a waveform rather than a particle (doesn't Quantum Mechanics mention that relative to a "photon" whatever that is) and waveforms have harmonics at certain points when they compress . . .

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79. Mack on October 29, 2008 7:26 PM writes...

Just to correct a few inaccuracies quoted above. Please, guys, read up before you slang off at someone :)

Background reading of articles on the patent controversy (http://www.villagevoice.com/2000-04-25/news/the-empire-strikes-back/1) reveal that Mills was granted a patent for his technology. The patent office was then privately contacted by Bob Park who has been hunting Mills since 1991 (see various What's New entries by Dr Park on his website) and on the basis of those private discussions, Mills patent was yanked back after it had been issued and paid for. The court case was not based on the legitimacy of the theory- it was whether the USPTO could legally yank back a patent after it had been issued. The court decided that it could. It was a procedural decision and in my view a wrong one as the involvement of third parties outside the patent system denied the applicant a chance to respond to the extraneous material presented to the USPTO.

The patent had nothing to do with perpetual motion (these words quoted above were, not surprisingly, Bob Park's) and the only link Mills has to cold fusion (and note he started working on his theory before the whole cold fusion fiasco broke) is that he suggests that hydrinos are more likely to undergo fusion given their reduced radius (ie in the same way that muon assisted fusion works). It's not an unreasonable position if in fact hydrinos with reduced radii do exist.

As for the Mills scanner, I believe he filed this back in 2000 and had it published in 2008. This was for a 4D MRI which claims to be able to MRI scan the human body in real time. Current MRI can only do frozen 2D slices and if the body moves (or breathes) you don't get a clear picture. I don't know if it requires his classical theory to work but the medical benefits are obvious. You could pick up tumours, heart problems etc all in real time. The separately patented luminide drug delivery system he developed is nothing more than a carrier compound designed to deliver a target molecule to a desired biological target and have it release at the appropriate moment to achieve targeted theory. He's not the only one working on that approach.

If you go back to 1991, Mill's central thesis has not changed. All that had happened most recently is that he abandoned his work on a gaseous plasma reactor because the power densities were too low and moved to this solid fuel, tested by Rowan, which appears to robustly generate more energy and provides a means of regenerating the catalyst such that only small amounts of hydrogen are converted to hydrinos for a huge release of energy. The 1.5kg of the solid fuel also doesn't represent the actual fuel "burned" for want of a better word. It includes the nickel and NaH that enable hydrino transitions to occur. What is said to be actually consumed is a very small amount of hydrogen for a correspondingly large release of energy.

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80. Andrew on October 29, 2008 9:50 PM writes...

Thicket,
I looked up the article you quoted. It's from the village voice (www.villagevoice.com/2000-01-25/news/dr-molecool). So you quoted the second paragraph of a three page article and proceeded to mock it. Did you even read the rest of the article? If anything, I have a better opinion of Mills after reading the whole article.

Regarding Andreas last comment (#72), I don't think it's strange at all, but not for the same reason as jpo. Unfortunately, I think it's
just human nature. As an aside, I once pointed out to a colleague that a formula in his model had the wrong units so it couldn't possibly be right. He asked me to prove it to him. I was dumbfounded. I had to write up several pages before he would admit his error (a few minutes at a whiteboard should have been sufficient). Years later, I saw the original incorrect formula appear again in published material.

All of the dismissals of Mills seem to fall into one of the following categories
1) His theory violates some known law (perpetual motion, 1st law of thermodynamics) - with no evidence of this provided - I can't comment on Thicket's summary since I don't have it - although it appears it might be from a biotechnology law report that I don't have free access to.
2) He's made crazy claims in the past
3) His theories are weird
4) He's been dismissed by other people who know he's wrong

How about something a little more direct and substantive? Like I said before, there seems to be more than enough information on the Blacklight site to either definitely prove he's wrong or to say he could be at least partially right.

I will say that trying to read through some of the documents is difficult. I think the organization and writing could use some work, but
some of that might be due to my lack of familiarity with quantum physics. At any rate, I've learned not to let those type of problems influence my judgment of the content.

At this point, I haven't read anywhere near enough to be convinced Mills is right. On the other hand, I haven't read anything that proves for sure that he has to be wrong. So I'm intrigued enough to keep reading so I can make a more informed judgment. And I'm hoping some others might do the same.

By the way, if I wasn't clear in my comment from a couple of days ago, I have no connection to Mills and I'd never heard of Blacklight until a couple of weeks ago.

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81. Neil Ferguson on October 29, 2008 9:55 PM writes...

Ok, we now know how much heat can be produced from 1.5 kg of wood. The experimenters claim in fact that about 1/2 gram of hydrogen was consumed. Let's assume that the experimenters knew how to use an accurate scale to measure the fuel before and residue after. I am curious to know what substance in the amount of 1/2 gram can produce 1 MJ of heat, after being heated to 750 degrees C? Or from being frozen, hit with a hammer or thrown in the air like confetti, for that matter?

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82. jpo on October 30, 2008 3:55 AM writes...

I really wish somebody on this blog would take a look at the paper "Total Bond Energies of Exact Classical Solutions of Molecules Generated by Millsian 1.0 Compared to Those Computed Using Modern 3-21G and 6-31G* Basis Sets" I pointed out a few days ago.

The summary:


Summary: In a new molecular modeling paper, the energies of exact classical solutions of molecules generated by Millsian 1.0 and those from a modern quantum mechanics-based program, Spartan's pre-computed database use 3-21G and 6-31G* basis sets at the Hartree-Fock level of theory, were compared to experimental values. The Millsian results were consistently within an average relative deviation of about 0.1% of the experimental values. In contrast, the 3-21G and 6-31G* results deviated over a wide range of relative error, typically being >30-150% with a large percentage of catastrophic failures, depending on functional group type and basis set.

The actual dataset starts at page 67.

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83. jpo on October 30, 2008 4:53 AM writes...

I'd like to extend my previous post.

As a non-chemist looking a the data from the paper I'm impressed. Just looking at the numbers the predictions made by Mills theory seem better than the quantum mechanical numbers.

However, I can't judge whether the numbers are fudged. Here are some obvious questions I'd like to rise:


  • Is the sample representative, e.g. did Mills pick molecules where his theory shines and disregarded those where it fails?

  • Are the numbers actually correct?

  • Does this show a flaw in Spartan or in quantum mechanics (e.g. Does Spartan solve the quantum mechanical calculations correctly?)

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84. Thicket on October 30, 2008 6:52 AM writes...

Andrew

Of course I read the entire article. I chose a direct quote from Dr. Mills because it's least likely to involve journalistic bias. What's your point, other than trying to defend Dr.Mills with a vague personal jab at me?

I agree that something more substantive is required, but that it should come from Blacklight Power. How about a real demonstration? From the things I've read, the technical content is a mishmash of pseudoscience, real science taken out of context and real science that doesn't support or debunk Blacklight Power (e.g. Rowan University studies).

I'm not a physicist, but I am a chemical engineer with 33 years of varied experience in the energy industry. That doesn't make me right and Dr. Mills wrong, but it does give me the knowledge and experience to comment credibly on technical things in the public domain regarding Blacklight Power.

In terms of patent application denials, there was also the U.S. case of Blacklight Power Inc. v. Rowan. Blacklight Power lost that case as well.

The claim that the patent office in the U.K. was unduly influenced by a Dr. Park who hounds Dr. Mills smacks of countless conspiracy theories surrounding novel energy technology suppression. Sorry, but I don't buy it.

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85. Andreas on October 30, 2008 8:33 AM writes...

@jpo

I have actually spent a fair amount of time with some of my colleages to study the data in somewhat more detail.

Our observations so far can be summarized as follows

(1) Mills' predictions are indeed very close to experiment, without the use of fudge factors, for those cases where data is available. And this covers indeed a lot of cases. To my knowldege, there is no equally comprehensive set of data points available anywhere else in the published literature.

(2) The sample appears to be representative.

We have seen no evidence that Mills "cheery-picked" only those cases where his theory shines and disregarded those where it fails. Quite the contrary, with Millsian one can model a much broader range of real-world situations than with any other simulation tool known to us, so that in theory just about any physicist can use it to apply it to a specific case or experiment of his or her choice.

(3) The numbers appear to be correct.

We have looked at a few cases that we were actually familiar with and have computed the results "by hand" or by using Mathematica, a computer algebra system. The model, as far as we can tell, does indeed compute exactly the values given by Mills' published closed-form formulas.

(4) I don't know whether there is a fundamental flaw in Spartan. Their results are good too, just not as close to actual experimental results than the values obtained by using Millsian.

(5) As for quantum mechanics, my current position is as follows:

a) Quantum mechanics clealry is the most successful and most thoroughly tested theory known to date for describing atomic behaviour.

b) That doesn't mean that there can't be another theory that contains quantum mechanics, but which makes additional predictions not previously made and/or observed.

c) The fact that fractional energy states have not yet been observed or are not described by standard quantum mechanics doesn't mean that they can't exist, physically. Nature is the ultimate arbiter here.

It could well be that they exist only under certain conditions, ie with certain catalysts. This is somewhat similar to the observation that before Faraday's time, the electromagnetic phenomena as we know and love them today have by and large not been observed anywhere, with a few exceptions. Yet, these laws have always existed of course, and it was only after Maxwell's discovery of the complete laws of classical electromagnetism that Hertz was able to actually produce electromagnetic waves as we know them today.

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86. Andrew on October 30, 2008 9:09 AM writes...

Thicket,

I'm sorry for questioning whether you read the whole article. My point was that your quote and comment do not in my opinion give an accurate representation of the article. There were also plenty of other scientists quoted in the article, although perhaps you're saying only supportive quotes were selected. At any rate, my first thought after reading your comment was something like - hmmmm maybe this guy really is a nut after all. But after reading the article (and considering the possibility of journalistic bias), I didn't have that impression at all.

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87. Anonymous on October 30, 2008 11:47 AM writes...

@Andreas

Can you characterize you and your colleagues? Academia, industry, etc. Are there any regular users of Spartan or similar software in that group?

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88. Joe Blake on October 30, 2008 11:46 PM writes...

Proof is in Blacklight Power's electric bill. Anyone have a copy?

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89. Neil Ferguson on October 31, 2008 9:27 AM writes...

"The claim that the patent office in the U.K. was unduly influenced by a Dr. Park who hounds Dr. Mills smacks of countless conspiracy theories surrounding novel energy technology suppression."

Dr. Park is a past president of the American Physical Society. You might want to read of the involvement of Dr. Park and Dr. Peter Zimmerman, APS, in the persecution of patent examiner Tom Valone. Following is a link to a copy of the arbitrator's decision on the employment termination appeal.

It is a fascinating read, though I suppose it might be a forgery to feed the conspiracy nuts. If so, it's a remarkably convincing one.

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90. Neil Ferguson on October 31, 2008 9:31 AM writes...

The link to the Valone arbitration report is http://users.erols.com/iri/ValonePatentOfficeDecision.htm

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91. Andrew on October 31, 2008 7:16 PM writes...

Definitely a fascinating read. Can this properly be called a conspiracy? I don't know, but I'm not sure it matters. Individuals or small groups exercising power and influence can in aggregate achieve the same effect.

Bob Park certainly has made it one of his life's goals to stop any scientific research that in his personal opinion is "pseudoscience". Here's a few paragraphs from the arbitrator that really stuck in my mind:

"There is a certain initial bafflement about why an organization of professional scientists like the American Physical Society (APS), through spokesmen like Robert Park, would be so adamantly opposed to the further exploration of cold fusion and other contrarian ideas to expend the time and energy they did to defeat at every turn the presentation of the COFE in a forum which might suggest a federal government interest in the subject matter of that conference. However, the bafflement is easily dispelled.

The federal government's budget pie for research and development in the areas of theoretical physics and chemistry is limited and, by and large, only traditional physicists represented by organizations like the APS, and its counterpart for conventional chemists, have been invited to sup on that pie. The last thing they want is any new guests invited to the table."

and

"The activities and motives of Park and Zimmerman have been extensively recounted and explained, and with regard to the cancellation of grievant's State Department, Secretary's Open Forum presentation, deplorable. The malice shown by Park in his solely economic driven campaign to block any of the nontraditional scientists from receiving recognition by any government agency as having an idea worthy of a slice of government R&D funding may be a point of pride within the APS. But to an outsider who champions free and open exploration of any scientific thought, no matter how far out on the fringe, his conduct is outrageous. The worth of a new idea is to be determined in the democratic and open arena of competing thoughts, and not blocked from the arena by the greedy economic self-interest of those already in the limelight."

However, I have to believe that Park's motive is not solely economic, although that probably plays a big role. I'm sure he genuinely believes that he's working for the greater scientific good by defeating "pseudoscience". He's probably prevented some "undeserving" research from being funded. But he's also no doubt prevented potentially useful work from being funded too. And there's certainly plenty of mainstream work that gets funded is just as undeserving as what Park calls pseudoscience.

I also took a look at Park's web page (which Derek linked to in his original post). Park also published a book in 2001 called Voodoo Science (and I read some of the reviews - both positive and negative). Overall, I get the impression that Park is a pompous, arrogant jerk. And based on what I've read, I don't think it's a stretch to say that Park is obsessed with bringing about the demise of Blacklight.

None of this makes Blacklight or Mills' theory correct, but I'm still a bit surpised at the number of outright dismissals of the possibility. Regardless of whether Blacklight is able to produce a working power generator (and this probably depends as much on engineering as physics), much of the theory in his book should be easily disprovable if it is indeed incorrect. However, the few substantive critiques I've found on the internet themselves contain outright inaccuracies. So I'm reluctant to trust any of those. Once I make it through the book once, I'll go back and try to carefully verify the mathematics. The more I read about this whole saga the more curious I'm getting...

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92. Carbazole on November 1, 2008 12:56 PM writes...

Okay, I'm all for someone coming along and throwing quantum mechanics a new wrench, the thing I can't get past is how you throw thermodynamics on its head. Let's say you posit that the hydrino exists. Okay, fine, but how are you going to make a commercial energy source from it? Unless there is so much more energy in the hydrogen -> hydrino transition than there is in the hydrogen + oxygen -> water reaction, you're not going to make this much better than a typical fuel cell. Unless you can also show that hydrino + oxygen -> lower energy state water. Energy is a state function, that's thermodynamics.

Also, how do you get away with the creation of charge? Check out this animation from the blacklight site. So NaH is giving you Na2+ and a neutral hydrino? Or is it a hydrino with a 2- charge?

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93. Karel on November 1, 2008 5:41 PM writes...

Why did anybody repeat the experiment. If its true about the hydrinos and the ammount of energy that would be released, it would be rather easy to observe. The tests Rowan university did, do not convince. They could not repeat the results.
About the theory. I think it is not that important that you have an explanation at this moment. Its of more importance that its proven false or true.

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94. Mack on November 2, 2008 3:10 AM writes...

Carbazole, the solid fuel NaH is alleged to ultimately result in an H(1/4) hydrino. From Mill's theory the total energy released overall by a transition from H to the H(1/4) is said to be about 204ev per H atom. By comparison you can split water to H2 and O and then H2 into two H atoms for about 7ev. So in an ideal situation you could get 408ev (collapsing both H atoms) by putting in 7ev.

Karel, Rowan was testing the cell repeatedly and successfully for several months according to the documentary video. Where did you see that they didn't?

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95. jpo on November 2, 2008 10:44 AM writes...

@Karel 93:


Why did anybody repeat the experiment.

According to this article people are trying right now and some did succeed.

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96. Sili on November 2, 2008 2:42 PM writes...

My apologies for not reading all the comments that have accumulated.

I'm sorry that people are upset at my call for more 'hate', but as I see it this is a guy that peddles in anti-science and as such is beneath contempt in the same way as Matthias Rath, Patrick Holforth, TAPL, Peter Duesberg, Michael Crichton and so on and so forth.

Yes, he may only be scamming a few investors, who should know better, but I am personally very concerned that people in charge of so much money do not know better! The public oblivience to the results and methods of science are a symptom of something being deeply wrong with society.

I was happy to hear this mentioned on the last Skeptics' Guide to the Universe without even the least consideration that there might be anything to it. The fact that this 'company' has been shilling for money for the past seventeen years without producing just one peerreviewed paper really should set alarmbells ringing.

Far be it for me to appeal to authority - if I did I wouldn't roll my eyes at our esteemed hosts denial of climate change as a result of human activity - but I'm happy to see that Blake Stacey rejects this as ever so much woo, too. (It probably won't convince anyone, but I do believe Blacklight scores pretty high on Baez' crackpotindex.)

I'd still like to see their solution to the Schrödinger equation, since a brief look at my impenetrable QM book shows that the solution for the hydrogen atom involves doing a polynomial expansion and showing that that will have to terminate to give physical solutions - hence the quantum number n. Play around with non-integer ns and you're looking at Laurent series rather than Taylor ditto, so the whole termination argument falls apart and the ns become meaningless.

This is (at best) cargo cult science and scorn is too good for it.

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97. Albert on November 2, 2008 3:48 PM writes...

Sili et al: The greatest scam this world has ever seen is the hot fusion project. Scientists have, for the last 40, 50 years absobed bilions of dollars spent on research on nuclear fusion in the hope of developing a sustainable reactor. Wouldn't they all end up with egg on their face if a lonely guy such as Randell Mills overtakes them in therace for endless energy? Is this the reason why Many scientists are acting like the Pope acted with Galileo?

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98. Neil Ferguson on November 2, 2008 4:04 PM writes...

Dig into Sili a ways and you will come upon ... Dr. Robert Park! Verily, even the chirping of the crickets is suppressed.

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99. Mack on November 2, 2008 5:40 PM writes...

Sili, shouldn't the raw data from experiment determine whether he is right or not? I know he is saying that QM (and all theory) can be replaced by a single, simpler classical based theory, but if he is right about that it will be borne out by careful experiment.

I know most claimants of this type can be dismissed out of hand- perhaps rightly but this guy just doesn't fit the profile of the usual- to be fair I'll call them the "less believable" claimants. There is no energy out of nowhere, no magnetic motors or magical boxes which recharge from the vacuum. He has a company and a lab and employed Phds, rather than a garage. Scientists who visit BLP to verify his claims come away impressed rather than dismissive. He has experiments and theory and does have peer reviewed papers (not in Phys.Rev of course but they would be inclined to the same view as yourself I suspect).

He has experimental data that supports his theory. Each on its own might be questionable given what he is challenging but together they lend weight to his claims- enough to justify investigation:

Spectral lines that match his theory
Unexplained (extremely large) generation of heat
Hydrino products scanned by NMR that show anomalous results
A simple but highly accurate molecular modelling software based on his classical theory. To demonstrate that the software does not simply encode the known experimental results, he has released excel spreadsheets that show how the calculations are done.

This can't be dealt with by saying "it's not Quantum mechanics so its wrong". That isn't a fair test or even a test at all. Assuming the unthinkable and his theory is 100% right and therefore should replace QM, how would you advise him to go about convincing you that he is correct?

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100. LongOfTooth on November 2, 2008 7:15 PM writes...

This thread is taking on the air of threads I've seen in the past. I've seen cases where there've been people involved in the company (like employees) making numerous posts, sometimes under different identities, touting the heck out of what ever BS it is they're involved in.

Is there any way of checking out some of the folks who I would call touts that are posting on this msg board?

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101. Russ Parker on November 2, 2008 8:33 PM writes...

From what I am reading here, those who have actually taken the time to test his theory using the modeling program based on it are seeing very good correlation to experimental results. It sounds to me like a pretty good model. If I were to need a molecular modeling program and I get better results with Milsian that those based on QED guess which one I would pick. If the theory is total trash I can't imagine how the modeling software could work at all.

Is there any one else out there willing to test this theory/model via the Milsian software?

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102. Andrew on November 2, 2008 10:35 PM writes...

Carbazole (#93),

I'm reading through chapter #5 of Mills' book. The full reaction is given there. It looks like the missing charge is two ionized electrons.

Sili (#96),

Why are you asking for a solution to the Schrodinger equation when Mills claims his theory doesn't use it? It seems to me a better questions would be whether the equations he does use can be correct.

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103. Andrew on November 2, 2008 10:50 PM writes...

A couple questions if anyone can answer.

In chapter 5 of Mills' book he gives his theory for the formation of hydrinos. He talks about nonradiative energy transfer by multipole coupling or resonant collision mechanism (not something I'm at all familiar with). Examples are given involving the formation of hydrogen gas from two hydrogen atoms and also fluorescent lighting. In his proposed reaction for hydrino formation, he uses examples where the available energy is approximately the energy he says is needed. I'm wondering about the approximate part (I'm not a chemist). Can anyone comment on whether this is plausible... in other words, do any known reactions work when the approximate but not exact energy is available? If so, how close is close enough? And what happens to make it not work when it's not close enough?

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104. Andrew on November 2, 2008 10:58 PM writes...

LongOfTooth (#100),

Which of the folks that are posting on this thread would you call touts? Looking back over the comments I can see the argument, but I'm curious exactly which posters you would point out.

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105. dude on November 2, 2008 11:40 PM writes...

Re: electron g-factor, look at the significant figures. The precision is way off.

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106. Mack on November 3, 2008 1:32 AM writes...

Andrew (103),

Re your question you may find the following site of some interest. Although focused on the use of FRET for studying biological reactions, it does cover the principles of resonant energy tranfers.

http://www.olympusconfocal.com/applications/fretintro.html

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107. Colin on November 3, 2008 3:54 AM writes...

Several things make me suspicious about the BLP claims:

1) The hype: The fact that BLP claim the Rowan results are "Independent validation of 50,000 watt reactor". Take a look at the peak power levels in the Rowan report. If I've understood them correctly it looks more like 200W. Thats quite a big difference (x250). Why hype to that extent?

2) The timescales. My advice to anyone who thinks they have a new energy source is to "close the loop" as soon as possible and build a prototype that produces excess power continuously. Until you do that nobody will believe your claims. BLP have had nearly a decade to do that. Where is it?

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108. Andreas on November 3, 2008 6:07 AM writes...

@ Anonymous

Hello, my background is in computer science. Before my retirement from the field I used to be affiliated with academia, a technical university in Europe where I specialized in computer algebra system such as Mathematica or Maple. However, I have done all the modeling work that I mentioned above in my "spare time", together with some of my former colleagues, and have not received any research or other funding for this work. I am not employed with Blacklight Power or affiliated with them in any other way.

We are still much too early in the process to be able to submit a scientific paper on this. But so far, the model contained in the Millsian software does indeed yield surprisingly accurate results.

Our current line thinking goes roughly like this: We know -or at least believe- that there are inconsistencies in Mills' theory. We have not seen any proof anywhere that it actually contains standard quantum mechanics - the most thoroughly tested theory of atomic behaviour in existence today and the one we actually believe in. That is something we try to convince ourselves by doing these simulation runs.

We have also not seen a convincing demonstration that Mills' theory is wrong. But if his theory was wrong, how can the Millsian software yield so precise results? So a large part of our time is devoted to verifying that Millsian does indeed give accurate results. We are not there yet, but we are puzzled by the fact that there are only closed-form formulas in there.

It could also well be that what Mills has discovered is simply a novel chemical process previously not understood, which however is less fundamental than he thinks. In that case, one ought to at least somehow derive his closed-formed formulas from chemistry.

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109. Thicket on November 3, 2008 8:29 AM writes...

Bob Park is certainly a gadfly to the practitioners of voodoo science. Fortunately for the practitioners there are vast numbers of wealthy, naïve and gullible investors who have more money than common sense.

There are many things about Blacklight Power that fit into the classic model of voodoo science seeking investors.

* They seek media attention. The free advertising catches the attention of many. It also improves credibility. Most media have little clue about scientific validity. They simply want an interesting story to publish.

* Blacklight seeks to influence or suppress negative publicity. Mills response to this website is a classic example of this. How many legitimate researchers personally fight negative statements made in public forums? Blacklight lawsuits involving denied patents is a more aggressive tactic. How many legitimate scientific researchers have the money to pay high-priced lawyers to fight legal battles they cannot win? The legal defeats can be used to bolster the image of cutting-edge science being thwarted by the established scientific community.

* A good way to attract investor money is to publicly state that you aren't interested in investor money. The fact that Blacklight's work is funded by investors seems to be beside the point. It's all about image. Portray the company as the noble champion who asks for no money to do scientific work.

* There is also an underlying fear factor when it comes to challenging Blacklight science. I'm an assertive person, but I temper what I say because I know that Blacklight is willing and able to mount legal cases if their credibility is challenged. Despite not living in the U.S., it makes me uneasy.

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110. Thicket on November 3, 2008 8:57 AM writes...

Further information on Blacklight Power's willingness to mount legal cases, check out this link.

http://osdir.com/ml/science.physics.hydrino/2001-06/msg00380.html

Note that I have no personal knowledge of the validity of the information on this link. Too many things on the Internet are dubious.

The linked article is from Blacklight Power's lawyer, and refutes Dr. Zimmerman's claim that he was threatened with a lawsuit. Have a read. If you were a scientist, how comfortable would YOU feel questioning BP's science? Doesn't it make you wonder if this is an example of Blacklight's money and commercial interests trumping legitimate scientific concerns.

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111. Sili on November 3, 2008 1:43 PM writes...

Why do I ask for a solution to the Schrödinger equation? Because it's been working for for the past seventy years - if this bloke has a new theory it must needs reduce to the SE in some the limit of data as we know them so far.

Of course he should be judged on the results of his experiements. Where are they? Since when do we publish groundbreaking results in the NYT? Where're the frontpages of Nature and Science? Heck! Where's the arXiv?!

I don't care how many ph.d.s come away from his lab with big smiles on their faces. We're not supposed to appeal to authority. Plenty of people didn't spot the trouble with Benvenista. Ed Mithcell believes little green men are visiting Earth.

Scientists are notoriously easy to fool. Not because they're arrogant and full of themselves. On the contrary they're often humble, but they suffer the personality flaw of thinking that others play by the rules too. They go into the fray assuming they're dealing with an honest colleague.

If Blacklight needs funds they can start by winning James Randi's Million Dollar Challenge.

Thank you for the comparison to Bob Park (whom I didn't know of). I'm flattered, but I do not have his credentials nor stamina and intellect.

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112. Neil Ferguson on November 3, 2008 2:09 PM writes...

Re: Andreas(85)

Sir, I am exceedingly grateful to you for any and all expert observations and judgments you can make with regard to the comparative correctness of Millsian software.

I have appended part of an e-mail exchange I had with Mr. Sean Ohlinger, VP and GM of Wavefunction, who very kindly answered a number of questions I had about the findings of the paper.

"Hi Neil,

A few comments. I haven't looked at all of the data in table 75 (your included bitmap), but I can tell you that the Energy values presented for 1-butanol and 1-decanol are NOT the values in the Spartan Molecular Database. To be honest, I'm not even sure what units are being used in the table (they are not given in what you sent), but typically atomic units are used for Total energy calculations.

1. Is the structure and presentation of data (as opposed to the correctness of the data) in Table 75 technically coherent?
Your Question 1. A table of this nature would be a reasonable way to present data and assess energy calculations -- with a few additional comments. First, there is mention of 6-21G in the table -- I assume this is a typo and what is intended is 6-31G. One does not typically use Hartree-Fock molecular orbital theory for accurate calculations of energy. For energy calculations it is necessary to choose a computational model with electron correlation (several of which are available in Spartan), or more commonly a thermochemical recipe (such as G3(MP2), several Gx recipes are available in Spartan -- as well as a new T1 thermochemical recipe).


2. Assuming the preceding is true, is the experimental data correct?
Your Question 2. I don't know where the experimental data is from, I assume this is cited somewhere in the paper? Typically, experimental energies are given as Heats of Formation (not total energies). See attached brief discussion of this. Given that total energies are always negative, I would say "NO", to your question on the correctness of the experimental data (again, units would be nice).

3. Assuming the preceding is also true, does Spartan produce results for the listed compounds that are consistent with those for 3-21G and 6-21G as shown in the paper? Can the program produce solutions that are consistent with experimental results by some other means?

Your Question 3. No, the results reported in the table are NOT an accurate representation of Total Energies reported from the Spartan Molecular Database. I don't believe the data reported as experimental data in this table is correct, but I will say that Spartan has a number of computational methods that provide accurate energy data. Most recently, we have a developed a thermochemical recipe known as "T1" that is both accurate and applicable to molecules of chemical interest (size-wise up to perhaps 500 amu).

4. If your program produces accurate solutions, does your software produce comparably accurate solutions for a similar variety of compounds, as listed in the paper?

Your Question 4. For an assessment of performance of methods included in Spartan, please see: A Guide to Molecular Mechanics and Quantum Chemical Calculations, WJ Hehre, 2003. This is a 700+ page reference containing a wide range of calculated data with experimental data. This is available for purchase, but can also be downloaded at no charge from: http://www.wavefuncom/support/AGuidetoMM.pdf

5. If your software doesn't produce comparably accurate solutions, can you suggest a technology that would allow Millsian's apparent accuracy?

Your Question 5. "Comparably accurate", of course, depends on what one is comparing. Spartan contains many computational models that provide data on a molecules shape (confirmation), structure (geometry), energies (strain energy, total energy, and heat of formation), IR, UV/vis, and NMR spectra, and host of calculated molecular properties. The guide linked above provides a good assessment of these methods (both where they perform well and where they do not). I have not used Milsian 1.0, nor have I read the paper you indicate is on the blacklightpower.com website, so it wouldn't be fair to speculate on an "apparent accuracy". I will say that if the remainder of the data they present is similar to the table you sent us, then it is likely not accurate.

Spartan is also available for a free evaluation: http://www.wavefun.com/products/demo.html, anyone that is interested in comparing Spartan with other programs is free to do so."

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113. Andreas on November 3, 2008 5:34 PM writes...

Re: Neil (112)

Thank your posting the email exchange. Obviously, it would be good if there was someone who knows both Spartan and Millsian, and who bothers to invest the time to work through at least one specific case in all its gory details using both systems.

As I indicated in my earlier post (85) I don't know enough about the Spartan system to make any specific claims about this system, other than what I already said. But it seems to be a well accepted commercial system, and as such I presume it has been validated by many more physicists than have validated Millsian.

In order to obtain conclusive evidence on the merits of both systems relative to each other for the situations that Mills' has published, one would need to perform a step-by-step comparison of course.

Anyone out there who knows Spartan well and who bothers to invest time to learn Millsian and compare at least one specific case he or she is familiar with in detail ?

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114. Anonymous on November 3, 2008 5:46 PM writes...

Andreas:

I would be curious to continue following the development of this topic -- especially with respect to the Millsian investigation and comparison to Spartan, etc.

If, at some point, this thread is to continue elsewhere, please post a link here so that I can continue to follow the discussion...

Thanks.

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115. Andrew on November 3, 2008 7:31 PM writes...

I'm also trying to find someone who uses Spartan and would be willing to try out Millsian. Still waiting to hear back right now...

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116. carbazole on November 3, 2008 11:14 PM writes...

I'm reading through chapter #5 of Mills' book. The full reaction is given there. It looks like the missing charge is two ionized electrons.

Well, okay, but where are these electrons going? Out into the solvent? Lithium metal is really going to ionize twice into the ammonia solvent? Occam's razor is on line 2.

Also, one other point in the "even granting the existence of hydrinos..." argument, the BlackLight site gives a diagram about how their reactor "works" (or would work once it's commercial). In it, they show that a di-hydrino stream being seperated from an H2 stream, the latter of which is sent back into the reactor. Um, what physical property could you take advantage of to separate the two? I'm just an organic chemist, so I'm not up on my quantum mechanics, but I'm pretty sure that just changing the energy level of the electron shouldn't cause the bulk physical properties of H2 to change in a way meaningful enough to allow separation. Is the hydrino dimer paramagnetic?

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117. Anonymous on November 4, 2008 6:50 AM writes...

Carbazole (116):

In the case of the solid fuel, if you read through their latest power paper, you will see that the NaH catalyst needs to be in the gas phase to react (page 11). So it looks to me as if the reactant is vaporized off the solid surface of the R-Ni at which point the reaction takes place. The ionized electrons then quickly recombine with the Na++ ions to regenerate the sodium, and the sodium reacts with the doped NaOH to regenerate the NaH catalyst as long as a source of atomic hydrogen is available.

I have no idea how they would seperate dihydrino gas.

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118. Anonymous on November 4, 2008 9:21 AM writes...

I recently downloaded the latest version of Millsian software and it seems somewhat more capable than the earlier beta version I had evaluated. In particular, the beta version seemed to only allow the creation of molecules from CH2 and CH3 functional groups (e.g. Butane). That restriction seems to have been relaxed in version 1.0.

I'm not a trained chemist, but it seems that it should now be possible to very quickly substantiate whether the Millsian model works or not. Would it not be possible to develop some molecule on screen for which no experimental data exists, determine the heat of formation from the software, and then create and measure that molecule in a lab? Or am I being naive about the state of modern chemistry that there exist such experimentally unmeasured molecules? From what I have read, it appears that Spartan would not be able to accomplish this test as it relies on experimentally known values in it's modeling.

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119. Mack on November 4, 2008 6:49 PM writes...

Carbazole (116),

Regarding sepration of hydrinos and H2, the claim is that hydrinos (in the case of the current reactor claim, two H(1/4) hydrinos) preferentially form what he calls a di-hydrino molecule which can be cryogenically isolated from normal H2 but although references to a paper on this this show up on google, I don't know if it was subsequently published.

R. Mills, B. Dhandapani, M. Nansteel, J. He, P. Ray, "Liquid-Nitrogen-Condensable Molecular Hydrogen Gas Isolated from a Catalytic Plasma Reaction", J. Phys. Chem. B, submitted

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120. carbazole on November 6, 2008 11:16 AM writes...

I know this is going to blow some people away, but that paper has not been published yet, or at least I can't find it from ACS. There was a 15 minute talk given at a local ACS meeting in 2003 on the subject, but nothing that's been peer-reviewed.

Okay, I was figuring that "hydrinos" would form "dihydrino", much like "hydrogen" preferentially forms "dihydrogen". The problem comes in finding a physical property that is able to distinguish the two on a preparative scale. How different are the boiling points? This is a non-trivial point here, and requires more than just a cartoon with two different streams to indicate seperation. Whatever you use to separate the hyrdino from hydrogen would be very interesting in terms of how the electronic structure of the molecule alters the bulk physical properties. What's the bonding distance of the dihydrino?

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121. SOLOMON AZAR on November 7, 2008 3:23 PM writes...

SOLOMON SAMI AZAR said…
And in the continued spirit of such claims- i have solved the energy crisis-period-:)

Hello, my name is Solomon Azar- I HAVE FOUND THE ROAD TO SAFE CLEAN NUCLEAR FUSION- When this is found and understood- the energy crisis will end- I have been looking at this system since 2002 and it is perfect in every way. I finished my experiments April-2007. I have since that time tried to the best of my abilities to inform many people upon the net- there is no question I have done so in an unorthodox manner- but in time it will be found my road traveled to solve this energy crisis was unorthodoxed -all my motives are for the betterment of mankind- you have your way- I have mine- it will make complete sense when heard in public of my approach- have faith :)

I have performed an experiment never done before in science- I used a Tesla coil for its use in high voltage high frequency and apply its discharge plasma not upon the dielectric of free air- but to the dielectric of water itself- specifically I used ultrapure reagent grade water from manufacture NERL-this is to establish the high degree of insulation needed for plasma (you cannot have contaminants for conductivity)- I doped my water with heavy water from the manufacturer UNITED NUCLEAR-(however- a full concentration of heavy water is desired)- I built my 1 million volt Tesla coil entire tunable- every aspect of it- as it must be done to TUNE THE OUTPUT DISCHARGE OF THE TESLA COIL to the water itself- once the arc is stable- the voltage may be increased- I have written in my pdf file in my website of noblefuse.com that a prerequisite of 750 kv is needed as an electric field gradient about the charged particles used in fusion( in this case the hydrogen bound in the water molecule) because of voltage drops as expected as in all electrical systems upon the load (load here is the water)- a much higher voltage is needed in order to distribute the voltage gradient upon entire arc plasma length between electrodes in water- THUS- THE HIGH THE VOLTAGE- THE BETTER- within my website you will find a link to youtube showing my primitive experiment- BUT MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT THIS- THIS IS THE FIRST TIME EVER DONE BEFORE - I propose nuclear fusion of water/heavy water- my little experiment IS THE ROAD TO NUCLEAR FUSION- we must universally connect the dots- put two and two together- and conclude this- MY EXPERIMENT MUST BE REPEATED ON A LARGER SCALE- my system is a direct replacement of nuclear power plants particularly of the pressurized water reactor which uses heavy water already - a vessel already built for gamma radiation and other high energy flux which will emit with the plasma arc-

Power reactor in which the heat is dissipated from the core using highly pressurized water (about 160 bar) to achieve a high temperature and avoid boiling within the core. The cooling water transfers its heat to the secondary system in a steam generator. Example: Grohnde Nuclear Power Plant in Germany with an electrical output of 1,430 MW.

Replace the rod assemblies and use electrodes to conduct the Lightning bolt! High Voltage High frequency will create the magnetic pinch to slam the isotopes of hydrogen together which is bound in water- helium and oxygen are the outgassed products recaptured by expansion tanks-it is absolutely perfect!

_ I HAVE FOUND THE TRUE PURPOSE OF THE TESLA COIL- the answer was always in the lightning bolt- understanding of gamma bursts from lightning discharges have only been recently vindicated from satellite in late 90s—

CA 94305 United States
Said, R ( ) , STAR Lab, Electrical Engineering, 350 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305 United States
Smith, D M ( ) , Physics Department and Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 United States
Lopez, L I ( ) , Astronomy Department and Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 United States

The observation of brief (

Let me try to give another analogy to make the point. think about striking a match, if all conditions are proper , one knows that to strike a match, you must go a minimum speed- you cannot strike the match too slowly- this is understood as more speed is more friction and thus more activation energy necessary to create combustion of the match material. the same applies to this fusion system, first, imagine my system as inside a pressurized water reactor used in fission plants- the moderator is already heavy water- we shall use it as the fuel. I have said the plasma arc looks exactly like our friend the electric lightning bolt- but I talk about in my pdf file- that the so called lightning bolt must be understood in regards to high voltage and frequency- just like the minimum speed needed for the match- so it is with the combination on high voltage and frequency to not only resonate with the dielectric molecule of heavy water- but more so- to create a minimum velocity upon charged particles in the fuel water. this velocity is also exhibiting itself as a magnetic field-think of the cathode ray scope- in a snap shot instant in time for analysis, look at when the maximum energy is being applied on a per strike basis of the input cycle- or shall we say the highest amplitude of the ac signal. if for example- an input energy of one megawatt was injected into the strike of the arc- a magnetic pinch shall be directed upon the charged particles in transit of the discharge- in a thermodynamic extraction process such as this - we need at least 5 times more energy out of the system to recoup our initial energy input- and a surplus for commercial energy supply- thus- via fusion of hydrogen to helium- with each strike- a minimum voltage and frequency SHALL give the minimum activation energy required for magnetic pinching and fusion of the isotopes of hydrogen. to increase the q of the reaction in this system- a magnetic toroid may be used around the plasma arc for increased efficiency= such as used in tokamak devices. I hope this analogy helps those who question this system- THANK YOU–

Here is a thought experiment for electromagnetic fusion with Einstein in mind

Pretend you are water-you are an oxygen atom- you are stable- you are noble- 8 protons-8 neutrons-and 8 electrons- there are only 5 magic shell nuclear elements of the periodic table- oxygen is one of them- it is very stable-

Therefore- you are stable and noble- you have no need for fusion- yet it could happen- but the probability of another element such as hydrogen and its isotopes would be made to fuse together in some kind of fashion mankind tries will occur way before oxygen does- - ok-so now you are this noble one and you have outstretched in your hands a hydrogen atom and or its isotope deuteron and you hold it out to mankind as a gift-

Man understands the gift of fusion for many years and is desperately trying to do such-

I propose electromagnetic fusion- I propose the BENNET pinch used in poloidal currents used in plasmas of tokomaks- but much further-

Here we go – the thought experiment- you are this oxygen atom with two hydrogen’s and you stand amongst your friends similar in nature. You are placed in a large vessel filled of your kind-now imagine that two walls opposing in this vessel are the plates of a capacitor- who cares what is applied to the capacitor plates (electrodes of system)-for all you know as a noble oxygen and the hydrogen you have in your hands is nothing more than the electric field upon the plates-

You are composed of charged particles- thus you will interact with the applied electric field of the plates-this is common electronics and electric knowledge-

However, I speak of dielectric breakdown- I speak of the lightning bolt- let us now assume we have made the capacitor plates oscillate at 1 million volts peak to peak as way of a tesla coil

Think of the electric field- everything will be controlled by this field- a dielectric breakdown will occur- and all discharge current will begin to flow and oscillate as a function of the applied voltage-

Now- you are in the heart of a lightning bolt- you who are noble as a oxygen probably lost all your valence electrons due to the magnitude of such a high electric field- every charged particle in transit of the discharge current is surely ionized and talks of being a complete water molecule should be erased- the state of this plasma current is nothing more than ionized hydrogen and oxygen and a complete sea of electrons-

Let us think first of the electrons- 1896 times smaller than protons- no question it will oscillate much faster as a function to the applied voltage- remember the cathode ray scope- basic physics also will say this charged particle will also have a magnetic field about itself because of the electric field that has driven it-thus- this oscillating electron current will have an intrinsic magnetic field

Let us now think of the protons- oxygen has 8 and surrounded by 8 neutrons and is far less likely for reaction than isotopes of hydrogen for fusion- this should merely be understood by refereeing to atomic tables of elements and known theory- but this hydrogen is a singly bound proton with mass one- unless we speak of a deuteron- it will also be controlled exactly the same way as the electron is affected by the external applied voltage- however- it is opposite to the electrons motion-and much slower by its mass – however-its magnetic field will add to that of the electrons- this is standard knowledge of magnetic field generation of charged particles by way of electric fields-

Thus, in this thought experiment- within this state of dielectric breakdown- I like to say the lightning bolt- can you now see the oscillation of the charged particles by such a large magnitude of the applied voltage plates- can you now see the probability at a certain moment in time- particularly when the applied ac signal is greatest- that all magnetic fields of charged particles in transit can have the power to be magnetically pinched-

Magnetics have push and pull- it is well known that high frequency causes a constriction upon electrical currents- whether in copper lines and forcing such to the surface- or in plasma and made use to constrict it - high frequency is known to constrict the currents- thus- do you see the forces I am referring to as this dielectric breakdown has occurred upon the most perfect fuel of the heavens- water- this oxygen atom holds the hydrogen for us- we shall apply a high voltage (high is relative- I have stated 750kv in the vicinity of the hydrogen for fusion- I come to this by way of understanding the beta decay of a free neutron- if it can disintegrate- it can come together- made into a deuteron- then made into helium)-

Thus –we make helium and oxygen is then unbound and must also be recaptured- this is easy in expansion tanks- the byproducts are helium and oxygen-truly noble-

To increase the q of this system- a simple toroidal magnet as used in tokamaks for plasma control may be used for additional pinching-

I hope this helps- however- you must always think of the applied electric field and its magnetic inducement upon the charged particles- we will stably run the Tesla coil upon the dielectric of water itself (more appropriately heavy water) and turn up the voltage for greater acceleration speeds and thus magnetic fields- we can control pressure in this vessel- we can control electrode spacing and so much more-

that is my thought experiment for you to understand it is my intention to use all input energy by way of oscillating a very large electric field which will induce the proper magnetic flux density in units of Tesla for a pinching- not established hot fusion whereby all energy input is chaotic and the probability of fusion comes by way of statistics from a gas equation- no- high voltage and high frequency in an orderly manner by the construction of a man made lightning bolt with controllable parameters inside an existing pressurized nuclear reactor- everything is off the shelf- the world will run on steam power again globally-from trains-factories-ships-and all power plants- I offer the Watt steam engine again- not with two sticks to make fire and boil the water- but electromagnetic fusion with two electrodes to induce fusion of hydrogen isotopes to boil water and make steam- it is absolutely perfect.

To the CEO’s of nuclear power plants-or pressurized coal fired- you have spare reactors in the back yards of your plants- take a 1 million volt tesla coil and do what I have said- you will measure its fusion reactions and you will conclude this - I have found the road to safe clean energy.

I speak plain science- please connect the dots and let us end this energy crisis for a world that desperately needs energy- May the light of God shine upon all our actions for the betterment of mankind

Solomon Sami Azar

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122. Mack on November 9, 2008 7:30 PM writes...

The papers on the Blacklight site on the What's New page of the 16 and 23 October deal not only deal with the recent energy claim but also have extensive categorisation of the hydrino byproducts such and H2(1/4) and other compounds and ions formed.

The only thing is it's pretty heavy going and needs an expert in NMR, XPS and TOF-SIMS to see if the claims for evidence of the predicted and observed hydrino peaks are reasonable given the procedures for the collection and isolation of these chemicals.

http://www.blacklightpower.com/papers/Continuum101608WebS.pdf

http://www.blacklightpower.com/papers/WFC102308WebS.pdf

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123. DavidInRichmond on November 18, 2008 11:39 AM writes...

If Mills is right, he is a lock for Nobel prizes in physics and chemistry. All he has to do is produce some of these super-stable compounds for the outside world to verify.

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124. andrew Moore on November 21, 2008 6:42 AM writes...

Oh yee of little faith......

Mills lives or dies by experimental evidence and then ultimately the ability to commercialise the process.... A potential World saving development for $50 million of private funds.

Compare the huge amount of public money wasted on bunk science like the large hadron collider designed to find the mythical Higgs Boson or Dark Matter.

Quantum mechanics its clearly incomplete - replete with its uncertainty principles, spooky action at a distance and renormalisation of infinities so the math works post hoc.

As for extraordinary claims requiring extraordinary evidence this is just bunk of the worst kind. Evidence is evidence and arbitairy decisions on its validity make a nonsence of science.

My bet is Mills experimental results correct - new source of power - theory will then get some serious research dollars and probably proven partially correct.

Large Hadron Collider- atoms smashed to pieces, huge sums of money squandered, scientists come up with even more tenuous theories - no benefit to humanity, new even more expensive white elephant experiment designed to keep them in gainful employment at our expense - same goes for TOKAMAK fusion reactor.

Skeptics like Bob Clark who thinks he knows it all are what kept Neanderthals in Cave's banging rocks together whilst the Mill's of the World were experimenting with iron Ore and furnaces!!!!!!

As for all these people who think its some massive con - exactly why and what benefit would Mills get from it..... Non so far as I can see so why bother and so what if it is - you don't have to invest (in fact you can't invest) but clearly some very smart people have no doubt based on experimental evidence

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125. JohnB on November 22, 2008 5:40 PM writes...

Dr. Mills Classical Physics takes up where the Old Masters left off. Let's take a look at the physics of the old masters; Einstein, Hilbert, Mie, Born, Lorentz, Abraham, etc.

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/hydrino/message/13948


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126. Markus on December 3, 2008 1:11 PM writes...

Average Joe here. From what I can tell Mills hasn't had a lot of luck securing a patent for his process. My guess is he will do this before revealing the true details of his discovery. I would hope he is at least that smart.

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127. DevicesRUs on December 4, 2008 9:36 AM writes...

Randell has indeed two issued patents talking about hydrinos including a method patent and 7 published patents the earliest from 2003 which hasn't issued yet. 5 years isn't unheard of but it looks like a long time for what is described

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128. Peter W. on December 5, 2008 3:08 PM writes...

I don't know the details of the patent system, but I imagine that, if Mills applies for patents and sees them refused because they conflict with current scientific fashion, once he has convinced a good fraction of the scientific community, he will have a good case for forcing the patent office to recant, accept his priority of invention and grant patents. Maybe he would even gain that way, though delaying the start of the 20-year validity period?

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129. Neil Ferguson on December 7, 2008 1:49 PM writes...

A news release from Tom Swift Enterprises announces commercialization of the Mills hydrino catalyzation process. Mr. Tom Swift, Jr. has demonstrated a pilot baseline electrical power plant to a panel of independent scientists and power company engineers that incontrovertibly proves abundant excess heat produced from hydrogen and conventional catalytic materials. Based on estimates by a Professor of Engineering at California Institute of Technology, net energy cost at the grid intake terminus will be no more than $0.02 per kilowatt hour, including depreciated capital costs.

In a telephone interview Mr. Swift briefly described their process. "As is well known, Dr. Mills has been exploring Nickel-Raney as a carrier of catalyst. Given the high cost of that substance, I explored alternative materials. We identified an alloy of nickel, iron, and certain other elements. In a proprietary form of an extremely fine dust, after undergoing a sodium hydride deposition, it can perform the same mechanical function as the Nickel-Raney material when in a gaseous suspension of hydrogen. Its fabrication and reprocessing cost is almost an order of magnitude less expensive."

Mr. Swift went on to outline the industrialized hydrino thermalization process. "Our first commercial heat engine will be a drop-in replacement for conventional fireboxes used in coal-fired power plants, rated at 300 MW(e) continuous output.

"Physically, imagine a long vertical cylinder about six feet in diameter, supported by a high tower like structure. Hot hydrogen is blasted into the top. As it passes through the cylinder, small vanes impose a vortex motion on it. The hydrated catalyzer is injected into the stream and the reaction occurs, generating hydrinos and a tremendous amount of excess heat.

"Further down, the combusted gas blasts through a spinning cylindrical section whose sides are layered with liquid sodium, held in place by 'centrifugal' forces. The gaseous vortexes cause the exhausted catalytic materials to fly to the cylinder walls where they are absorbed by the sodium.

"The sodium is gradually circulated out of the reactor. Since it is a ferrous alloy, the catalytic material can be separated from the sodium as it passes through a battery of superconducting magnets.

"The catalytic carrier is dried, atomized, and redeposed, then recirculated into the reactor, as is the scrubbed sodium. The hydrino/hydrogen jet passes through conventional boilers and heat exchangers, then through a massive series of novel microwave energized membranes that separate most of the hydrino hydrides from the hydrogen."

When asked whether the power plant used water as its sole source of fuel, Mr. Swift replied dryly: "No, we found that we use a lot less heat to generate the hydrogen we need from natural gas than we would with electrolysis. And after all, heat is money, and a buck is a buck. It's not like there's a carbon crisis any more, is there?"

We also asked about what commercial arrangements they have made with Blacklight Power. Mr. Swift remarked, "Actually, we're not connected. I called Dr. Mills to arrange licensing. When I asked him how much he was going to charge, he said "Oh, yeah, well, naaw, don't worry about it. Knock yourself out. I'm in this thing for the glory."

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130. Kahuna on December 8, 2008 2:53 PM writes...

NF,

I assume you are pulling our leg with the Tom Swift quotes. If not, how about some kind of a reference/link.

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131. Neil Ferguson on December 9, 2008 8:13 PM writes...

. N.B. "Tom Swifty".

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132. Kahuna on December 11, 2008 4:16 PM writes...

Today BLP annouced the licensing of their technology to a NM power company:

http://www.blacklightpower.com/Press%20Releases/BlackLightProcessEstacadoPressRelease121108.doc

Many have said the best way for Randy Mills to shut up his critics and get the academic attention he seems to want is to just put his stuff to work in a commercial environment. It appears he is doing just that. It's at least worth watching.

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133. Albert on December 11, 2008 5:49 PM writes...

Following this development, that is, the megawatt commercialisation of Randell Mills'hydrino heater, a lot of commentators are gonna be covered in egg goo.

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134. Dave on December 11, 2008 7:10 PM writes...

Neil Ferguson, where are you? Probably out plowing the back 40 with your best mule "Bessy". Those infernal steam engine tractors will never replace a good mule!

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135. Neil Ferguson on December 12, 2008 12:29 AM writes...

In message 131, a link to "Tom Swift" in Wikipedia was lost in the comment machine. Dave, aside from entries above you may find me here and there at hxxp://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/hydrino and hxxp://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/SocietyforClassicalPhysics, shyly bearing a lit candle of faith and hope.

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136. oh, nobody on December 14, 2008 12:47 AM writes...

What will the environmental impact be from this hydrino energy harnessing reaction? We already have enough BS and carbon in our atmosphere. If the science is true, what are the repercussions?

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137. Peter W. on December 14, 2008 9:47 AM writes...

Environmental Impact:
According to Randy Mills there will be very little impact. The hydrino atoms, or more probably di-hydrino molecules, being much lighter than air and not very reactive, will tend to drift up and leave the atmosphere. At the same time the process generates neither CO2 not radioactive products. And in any case there will not be much water (i.e. hydrogen) consumed, and presumably not a huge amount of oxygen released.
Although Mills suggests using his process to generate extra hydrogen for motor vehicles, and there is the obvious electric-car option as well, I think there could be a future in making something like ethanol, from the energy and from captured CO2, to fuel a hybrid. This would release the CO2 of course, but could be carbon-neutral depending on how the CO2 were to be obtained.
More research is needed on possible processes to create hydrogen from hydrinos ( i.e. hydrino decay?), but this would clearly require a great deal of energy to be supplied so is not likely to occur in nature.
More pressing, perhaps, would be to optimise the process by means of the hydrino auto-catalysis, so as extract more energy: I think the reported process tend to create a lot of H 1/4 rather than approaching H 1/136! But that is a different issue, unless it could happen in the upper atmosphere.

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138. Kahuna on December 14, 2008 11:05 AM writes...

Thanks PW for the environmental insights. You seem well informed. I remember a fellow named Billings from my college days that did a fairly simple change to normal Gas ICEs to make them run on Hydrogen. Then he would drink the exhaust (H2O) to impress everyone. So it would seem that the conversion from Gas-ICE to H-ICE might not be too hard. What about the H storage on-board in terms and safety and density (and resulting range per tank).

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139. ItsMe on December 21, 2008 5:05 PM writes...

I have seen much bashing of Dr. Mills on the web. It is only proof that even if Mills is totally wrong, the person or persons in this world that truly does bring us "world changing physics" will have the same reception.

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140. Eli Rabett on December 23, 2008 11:03 PM writes...

They are simply desorbing hydrogen atoms from the Raney nickel which then recombine to form H2. That yields the 1 MJ of energy

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141. ChuckECheez on January 2, 2009 12:08 AM writes...

Eli Rabett,

Hydrogen desorption is endothermic. Try again.

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142. John Williams on January 3, 2009 7:50 AM writes...

Amazing how much the comments have taken a turn in the last month. I have a feeling Mills is onto something but that there is a definite communication gap between Mills theory and conventional theory that is making a clear understanding of his ideas hard for indoctrinated physicists. There seems to be alot of research papers that back up Mills theories while leaving enough wiggle room to back out in case of potential reputation damage. This fear of ridicule and loyalty to conventional theories precludes the chance of publication in mainstream journals barring extraordinary evidence which the Millsian software seems to be on the cusp of. At least one way or another 2009 is going to be an extremely interesting year.

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144. rav i on January 12, 2009 7:29 AM writes...

the second commercial license coming from the same state,and a non exclusive press release this time..raise any questions..??

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145. Lebirchan on February 20, 2009 1:42 PM writes...

Please read the abstact from the book written by Nicholas Moller "Irving Langmuir and Atomic Hydrogen". Then have a close look at the reaction shown in the video and experiments described on BlackLight Power's website. Finally study the experiments and setup used Professor Peter Jansson from Rown University .

Irving Langmuir a Nobel prize Winner in 1932 has published very similar results using tunsten as the catalyst. He was a very close friend of Niels Bohr whom he discussed his results with.

Please give me your comments after having read the above abstrat by Nicholas Moller. I do not wish, at this point to discuss the proposed theory behind the processes in the two similar but very different experiments.

Lebirchan

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146. DarQ DawG on March 12, 2009 12:47 PM writes...

Good... Mills is ignoring the ignorant comments of his critics and pursuing his research and commercialization.

As far as I'm concerned Black Light Power has proven itself a legitimate endeavor. I hope they succeed, although there are no guarantees.

However, they've already generated more wattage than those black hole tokamak programs dominating the world of mainstream fusion science. Their event horizons have siphoned up more tax payer dollars into non-existence than is supposed to be theoretically possible. I guess, when it comes to my hard earned money combined with pop physicists' nuclear pipe dreams, matter and energy are NOT conserved.

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148. jpo234 on August 12, 2009 2:47 PM writes...

And here is the actual paper, not just a PR:
http://www.blacklightpower.com/pdf/RowanHydrinoReport2009.pdf

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149. Eric Dumont on August 14, 2009 1:42 PM writes...

Hydrino's spectral Hydrogen signature found!

Central European Journal of Physics
Publisher Versita, co-published with Springer-Verlag GmbH
ISSN 1895-1082 (Print) 1644-3608 (Online)
Subject Collection Physics and Astronomy
Subject Physics and Astronomy, Physics, Physics, general, Physical Chemistry, Geophysics/Geodesy, Environmental Physics, Biophysics/Biomedical Physics and Systems and Information Theory in Engineering
SpringerLink Date Thursday, December 22, 2005

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150. Eric Dumont on August 14, 2009 1:45 PM writes...

The article in question...

http://springerlink.com/content/k1k4986384j3x26p/

Spectroscopic observation of helium-ion- and hydrogen-catalyzed hydrino transitions
Journal Central European Journal of Physics
Publisher Versita, co-published with Springer-Verlag GmbH
ISSN 1895-1082 (Print) 1644-3608 (Online)
Category Research Article
DOI 10.2478/s11534-009-0106-9
Subject Collection Physics and Astronomy
SpringerLink Date Sunday, August 02, 2009

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151. Lane on August 25, 2009 9:25 AM writes...

If this really works... and, that is a big 'if,' what happens when we start filling our atmosphere with dark matter?

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152. Anonymous on February 25, 2010 7:18 PM writes...

Well since 90% of the universe is already dark matter not sure what the problem is... Must be all the alien civilizations that already know how to use Hydrino's that created it :)

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153. Allan on March 4, 2010 12:41 AM writes...

Well if the skeptics are right, then how has Rowan University scientists produced 1.2 to 6.5 times the exothermic heat from the reaction of atomic hydrogen with specified catalyst materials reacted. Surely these genious skeptics have an explanation using quantum mechanics (QM) how this excess heat is produced using off the shelf purchased materials in an independent laboratory repeated over 75 times. Problem is, that when assumptions of the hydrogen atom are, incorrect, so are the mathematics.Please point out where in QM books back from today to 1916, has the Mills experimentation been conducted. Please cite the book and page numbers. I am very interested in this answer.

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154. Alex on March 25, 2010 8:55 AM writes...

Blacklight Power science has now crossed the Atlantic. An Italian firm has bought 700 MW of power from blacklighthttp://blacklightpower.com/Press%20Releases

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155. Joe Shea on March 26, 2010 8:39 PM writes...

What an intriguing and interesting thread! One of the things that piqued my interst was the mention of Bob Park. Did you know that in "What's New" he said Jesus Christ was an "itinerant healer," acupuncture doesn't work, and that the North Koreans couldn't launch an ICBM - the day before they launched one? I appreciate the explanation for his opposition and defamation of Mills in the competition for physics money. The DOE now has a Secretary in Steven Chu who is on the record demeaning Mills in a Dow Jones News Wire article in 1999, so I'm not hoping that we will realize the promise of hydrinos before the Chinese do. In fact, I think cold fusion and the hydrino reactor both have extensively validated theory behind them, and that it is entirely the intersection of politics and money - the incredibly disruptive nature of this technology - that holds the status quo in place. BlackLight, so far as I know from talking to the CEO of one of the utilities that have ciontracted for the hydrino reactor and reading the www.blacklightpower.com Website, has at least 20 working 50-kw and 75-kw reactors running all the time. His Millsian modeling software sounds like another extraordinary advance. I just wish more skeptics and scientists were equally as consonant with the economic regime under which the entire scope of world trade operates as they are with physics theory. What exactly do you think the powers-that-be of OPEC and the boards of ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco and the rest are doing torespond to the idea that energy can be generated almost for free, expecially compared to their polluting products? Sure, they'll just roll over and die. I think they're far more likely to pullute this debate using their own myriad of Ph.Ds to shill against the BlackLight Process, and their political power to elevate a critic like Chu to his post to ensure it never gets federal funding.

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156. Eric Dumont on August 22, 2013 2:53 PM writes...

Been a while since I posted on this thread. Check out latest news that now Nasa is saying they have new energy source using similar methods to Blacklightpower and also that Mills now has 7 or 8 independant fully successful validations of his power generation capabilities. I agree with Joe Shea from 2010 that it's mostly political difficulties that keep this kind of tech from finally be allowed to the public.

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