Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Financial Times endorsing the hydrino?

Perhaps trying to outdo the Wall Street Journal's endorsement of the 90% patent grant rate, the Financial Times spun a favorable story on Randell Mills of BlackLight, including the text: While many scientists express doubts off the record, the fact
remains that no one has published a knock-out argument against Dr Mills' basic theory
(though some claim it is so silly it is not worth a rebuttal).
[IPBiz note: see Rathke paper mentioned below.]

The Robert Matthews article also states:
By itself, that would provoke little more than eye-rolling boredom
from scientists all too familiar with the grand pronouncements of cranks.
The trouble is that not many cranks have had their radical new theories about atoms
Tpublished in dozens of peer-reviewed papers in serious research
journals, and the implications replicated in independent laboratories. And fewer
still have won the support of big hitters from A-list corporations and hefty
financial backing to match.

Some have even gone as far as investing a total of Dollars 50m in his New
Jersey-based company, Blacklight Power, whose board members include Neil Moskowitz,
the chief financial officer of Credit Suisse, and Michael Jordan, chairman of
Electronic Data Systems.

Bob Park's What's New in August 2000 had written: BlackLight Power's plans to go public with an estimated $1B stock offering are presumably on hold. You may recall that on 15 Feb BLP was awarded a patent on a process for putting hydrogen atoms into a "state below the ground state," shrinking them into teeny little things called "hydrinos" (WN 18 Feb 00). A second patent dealing with hydrino chemistry was set for issuance two weeks later. But on 17 Feb the Patent Office withdrew the second patent, and opened up the first for reexamination. One patent official was concerned that the BLP technology involves perpetual motion and "cold fusion." With its intellectual property somewhere in patent purgatory, BlackLight filed suit in Federal Court against the Commissioner of Patents. Tuesday, Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled the Patent Office action was "neither arbitrary nor capricious."

The Village Voice had written:

The 69-year-old Park and 42-year-old Mills have never met, but Park has blasted Mills since he proposed his theory nine years ago. In March, Mills's lawyers warned Park and three other scientists to refrain from calling him a fraud, even if they continue to denounce his theories. "Scientific debate is sacred—no one wants to silence that," Mills says. "But when you try to incriminate a business, you've crossed the line. Still, in a way I'm glad about this. It forces the issue. Now we'll have to put up or shut up, and they'll have to confront the data or fold." Mills says he's going to back up his filings with the patent office with more than 40 reports and publications, and he may request that the National Institute of Science and Technology test his prototype technologies.

Park says he doesn't know where Mills is on what he calls "the road from foolishness to fraud," because "the human capacity for self-deception should never be underestimated." Of course, he offers, even with a crank theory "there's room for serendipity, but I wouldn't bet on it."

Threats to the hydrino patents could jeopardize Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's plans to underwrite BlackLight's estimated billion dollar initial public offering. And some of BlackLight's backers say they're offended when portrayed as dupes or coconspirators.

Of venture capitalists, the Voice also noted:

"If I wanted to gamble, I'd fly to Vegas," says Rick Barry, whose Eastbourne Capital Management and its principals invested $5 million in BlackLight after what he describes as "detailed" due dilligence by him and PacifiCorp. "I don't think the risk [with Mills] is science fraud. It's can he engineer a device and can he protect his intellectual property? I thought we were safe on the latter until this started to unfold."

Along with PacifiCorp, electric utility Conectiv has invested in BlackLight. Tyco International inherited a sliver stake in the company through its purchase of Amp Incorporated, a leading producer of electrical connectors. Individual backers are among the Who's Who of the business establishment. They include a former chairman of Morgan Stanley and a former president of PaineWebber. Board members include Dr. Shelby Brewer, a former top Department of Energy nuclear official, and Aris Melissaratos, former director of Westinghouse's Science and Technology Center.

[see http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0017,baard,14377,1.html]

[see also http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/11/07/hydrino_generator/]

from physicsweb:

Earlier this year, however, Andreas Rathke of the European Space Agency published a paper in which he argued that the theory for the hydrino state put forward by Mills was "the result of a mathematical mistake" (New J. Phys. 7 127).

from Rathke's paper:

In this paper, we have considered the theoretical foundations of the hydrino hypothesis, both within the theoretical framework of CQM, in which hydrinos were originally suggested, and within standard quantum mechanics. We found that CQM is inconsistent and has several serious deficiencies. Amongst these are the failure to reproduce the energy levels of the excited states of the hydrogen atom, and the absence of Lorentz invariance. Most importantly, we found that CQM does not predict the existence of hydrino states! Also, standard quantum mechanics cannot encompass hydrino states, with the properties currently attributed to them. Hence there remains no theoretical support of the hydrino hypothesis. This strongly suggests that the experimental evidence put forward in favour of the existence of hydrinos should be reconsidered for interpretation in terms of conventional physics. This reconsideration of the experimental data is beyond the scope of the current paper. Also, to understand properly the experimental results presented by Mills et al , it would be helpful if these were independently reproduced by some other experimental groups.
[from http://www.iop.org/EJ/article/1367-2630/7/1/127/njp5_1_127.html]

**from Derek Lowe blog:

Then there's the infamous "hydrino" patent, US6024935, granted to Blacklight Power, who've been scamming people for years with stories of a supposed lower-energy state of the hydrogen atom. The PTO at least caught on after this, and their follow-ups seem to have stalled. The Guardian recently ran a credulous article on these folks, which wasn't well received by people who've been following the story.

**from www.billstclair.com/blog/051106.html

If you could fuck around with the hydrogen atom, you could fuck around with the energy process in the sun. You could fuck around with life itself," claims Dr. Phillip Anderson, a Nobel laureate in physics at Princeton University. "Everything we know about everything would be a bunch of nonsense. That's why I'm so sure that it's a fraud."

Dr. Michio Kaku, a theoretical physicist based at City University of New York, adds that "the only law that this business with Mills is proving is that a fool and his money are easily parted." Kaku is a cofounder of "string"-field theory, which posits that all matter and energy are actually manifestations of vibrations occurring in 11 dimensions. String-field theory, considered radical when it was introduced, is now pretty much the only game in town for mainstream physicists seeking a grand unified theory.

**The comment below was published on 22 July 09 on the basis it is "more" accurate than Lemley saying Gary Boone invented the integrated circuit.

[IPBiz post 1338]


Blogger froarty said...

The theory is flawed but the energy is real. the hydrino is relativistic hydrogen exhibiting the known effect of Fitzgerald-Lorentz contraction but the deviation from our time vector is not the known time dialation approaching an event horizon, rather it is in the opposite direction where we as the observers appear to slow down relative to matter trapped inside Casimir cavities formed by the voids in Mills' Rainey Nickel.

3:36 PM  

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