Status: Most likely a free energy scam An article in the Guardian
about Dr. Randall Mills, founder of Blacklight Power
, has been generating a lot of debate in the blogosphere. For instance, there's discussion of the article over on Slashdot
, and a link to it also got posted in the hoax forum
. I wanted to add a few comments here because, although many people might be hearing about Mills for the first time (thanks to the Guardian article), the guy has actually been lurking around since the early 1990s, claiming to have discovered a limitless source of cheap energy. (I recognized Mills because he's discussed in Robert Park's book Voodoo Science
, published in 2000.)
Mills's theories originally developed out of his interest in cold fusion, though he insists he's not proposing a rejiggered form of cold fusion. Instead, what Mills claims to have discovered is a way to get a hydrogen atom to move to an energy level below the ground state. The ground state is the lowest energy level a hydrogen atom can sink to (according to modern physics). But Mills is saying it can sink even lower (i.e. the electron can move even closer to the proton). When a hydrogen atom sinks to this sub-ground level, it supposedly emits an enormous amount of energy and transforms into what Mills calls a "hydrino". If Mills is right, pretty much all of modern physics is wrong. Which is why Mills probably isn't right.
Of course, Mills could be a genius
whose theories are going to completely revolutionize modern science (and modern industry). That's what his supporters claim. But that's what the supporters of ALL free-energy schemers claim. The fact is that for almost fifteen years Mills has been promising that practical applications of his hydrino technology are just around the corner. But nothing ever materializes. And meanwhile he keeps luring in new investors with his wild promises of limitless energy. So it seems to me that Mills and his hydrinos match the familiar free-energy pattern of big promises, but no results.
I have to agree, it does sound very free-energy hoaxish. I'm pretty certain a lot of the math works out to 'because I think it would be a nice idea'..
I live in an area where I can see a good bit of stars on a clear night. I am far enough away from the closest major city that the ambient glow is minimized. Recent winds cleared out the low lying muck one day and it was clear enough to see a fully populated sky. It was really quite amazing and beautiful.
"Just why is it that I have to breath in this disgusting brown muck every day????"
I thought this was about
if Mill's was a hoax or not
and it isn't conclusive, yet I have read elsewere that there has been successful replications of his experiment, so...
I'm still searching
I think mills did see something.. and may have jumped the gun.. the man has spent too many years in school to throw it away and be marked as a scammer..
he's gotten the investor's money and has not ran away yet..
of course eventually, he will have to show something that works.. and works continually..
i am betting that he believes in what he is saying..
of course we could find out.. by asking the janitor of the lab..
if the employees go to the lab each day and play poker.. then most likely a scam..
Physics as a field is filled with geniuses. Don't see a shred of evidence that Mr. Mills "could be a genius", either, and worthy of hanging with this crowd.
The argument that he must be "on to something", in defiance of 100 years of rigorous physics, because of his "schooling", is nonsense.
I was once visiting DoE's headquarters in Washington when one of these amazing developments occurred and the associated stock was rising rapidly on the American Stock Exchange. The telephones were ringing of the hook as investors wanted to know from their tax-paid energy scientists whether it could be true. The DoE adopted an official policy, physics, chemistry etc. notwithstanding, of "no comment" lest they be sued (one assumes!).
That particular event soon collapsed - those knowing enough to short these stocks, at the appropriate time, will make money as did those who shorted palladium at the height of the "cold-fusion" mania.
Here is the article header....
Cranbury, NJ (December 11, 2008)
Who has solved Tesla's myth? Remember he also accumulate millions and Jsp wanted buy for billion at that time.
I just don't believe people are still this innocent and that's why every a while we can see Enron, Madoff get their billions, Blsck light only got 40 mil? not enough. From 1990? Seem not easy for him, way to go!
On balance I remain skeptical but hopeful. There is enough meat on this bone to keep me interested, but enough questions, like some above, that I can not swallow the Kool Aid just yet. I want to see a continuously operating reactor producing energy as predicted by Mr. Mills before I would invest cold cash. But unlike other extreme skeptics, I will continue to invest time following the company and I will not be overly surprised if the claims are true. Even if it is unconventional, there is a lot of science behind the theories. For example, in 1994 Mr. Mills predicted, based upon his unconventional theory, that the expansion of the universe should be acelerating, not slowing as all other physics predicted. As everyone knows, the Hubble spacecraft confirmed his theory and threw the rest of the physics community into a tizzy trying to explain the unexpected (to them) results. They explain it with dark matter and dark energy without an explanation for what said matter and energy are. Mr. Mills predicted the result and said the dark matter/energy is simply his lower energy state of hydrogen, the hydrino he calls it.
That example along with others are why I am not totally skeptical his energy process is all bunk. I think and hope we will have conclusive answers within the next few years.
It really shouldn't be that difficult to verify some basic compounds or materials that have different properties because the Hydrogen (Hydrinos) is at a lower energy state. Independent verification of energy output based on the stated theory also shouldn't be that difficult. Step 1- Build an experiment around his theory that would confirm or disprove it. Step 2- Perform said experiment. Step 3- Publish results.
That's the difference between ACTUAL SCIENCE and silly talking heads supporting the established line. In Galileo's day it was the church who persecuted visionaries, today it's established scientists who are too lazy to do some simple testing before shooting their mouth off.
"HIS experiment doesn't agree with MY worldview, and I'm the expert, so he MUST be wrong." Gimme a break.
This experiment could not reproduce Mills' results after multiple attempts. The measured power out was less than the power in. If you believe this is a new, real phenomenon, invest in BLP and become wealthy.
There are few scientists on the planet who would not be excited by such a breakthrough if it were true. Ask any scientist you can find. But don't confuse their skepticism with some sort of stake in the status quo, even if they have such a stake. The skepticism is honest and comes directly from the constant flux of perpetual motion machines and free energy theories that spread like wildfire once the weeds have dried since the last round.
The onus is truly on the new guy to produce credible evidence. Mills has had a lot of time, much more than cold fusion had. Yet his best experimental support comes from Rowan University, from staff who have worked with BLP before. Mills needs to take his claims (with a non disclosure agreement if he's worried) to an MIT or Virginia Tech. The fact that he has not done so - or not produced a working product - is more than suspicious.
This is all too reminiscent of the cold fusion debacle, though I don't believe Pons and Fleischmann were hoaxers. Heck, I'm not sure Mills started out as a hoaxer. He's either got nothing or has squandered his investors' money trying to deliver, only to discover that he can't.
There's no shame in trying to place physics back on a deterministic theory, nor in attempting to solve the riddle of dark matter, nor in endeavoring to create a clean energy source. There would be no shame if he said, "Well, I think I screwed up my calorimetry." His investors might not like it, but it wouldn't be the first time for either.
Or perhaps he'll get it all together this time. But I'm not holding my breath (nor investing).
Let's not forget that this isn't cold fusion nor is it a perpetual motion machine.
It's not much different than that of petrolium. We use petrolium to produce more than what we use. Does that make it perpetual? No.
It's not a matter splitting water to get hydrogen then burning the hydrogen back into water with a net output. It's a matter of a chemical reaction the results in spent hydrogen. It just so happens that the amount of energy released is more than what is needed to split the water. Just as it just so happens that we can produce/extract more petrolium than what is used in the production/extraction process.
Once the hydrogen becomes a hydrino it would take the same energy to get the hydrogen back than what was released. But they're not trying to make it hydrogen again they simply get the hydrogen from another source (electrolysis).
I remember reading that the hydrino will pair up with another (just like regular hydrogen) to form a gas that is lighter than air (also just like hydrogen). That, it too, will rise to the upper atomosphere where it gets swept away by solar winds. Since this is not a naturally occuring substance then the % found in the atmosphere would be far less than that of hydrogen gas (if it were to be used in place of petro).
The established line has overwhelming observable evidence on its side. If Mills want's to be taken seriously that he needs to provide evidence that his theory is right. That is ACTUAL SCIENCE. The burden of proof is put on the person making the claim. It would be so easy for Mills to prove. Show me some hydrinos. That simple act would give his theory alot of credibility.
The world breathlessly awaits the press release announcing that Utility Z has installed a reactor and has started generating power.
Thank you David - I could not agree more about the results and it is clear that the environment he is pursuing is the same mixture of atomic hydrogen and catalysts that have been producing reports of anomalous heat since the invention of the hydrogen torch in the 1920's. The recipie and resulting pore sizes in Mills skeletal catalyst represent a chemical method to produce Casimir cavities. I suspect that the surface area and catalyst ratings of different materials are actually based on Casimir geometry but until that relationship is firmly established the electrochemists and physicists seem to be approaching this problem from different perspectives. I also suspect that pyrophoric action that sometimes occurs when metals are finely divided into powders is forming Casimir geometries between the grains of powder as well as increasing surface area- meaning that when Arata in Japan diffuses h1 into his Pd nano powders the h1 is being translated into relativistic hydrogen. relativistic due to equivalent acceleration proportional to change in energy density/em suppression of longer vacum flux in the cavities. In effect no different than
relativistic hydrogen ejected at small fraction of c from the corona but stationary and inversely proportional to the cube of the distance between the cavity walls. Where we can not very well exploit the slow change in energy density over a gravity well we can exploit the tapestry of different energy densities sitting stationary and adjacent inside a casimir cavity by using an asymetrical path for hydrogen between the different zones. It appears that the translation to fractional hydrogen is opposed by a covalent bond- therefore a disassociate atom can diffuse freely into the most fractional states but as soon as it forms a bond and falls to a lower energy state further translation becomes opposed.
This opposition represents a discount to the energy normally needed to disassociate a molecule and provides a method to accumulate and rectify the difference in energy density. Note H-M still use the translation of a gas atom to fractional value but employ a noble gas and Casimir Lamb pinch to rectify energy instead of chemistry.