BlackLight Power - do they have something significant?
Randy Mills of BLP (Blacklight Power) has made some staggering claims of alternative physics and new forms of energy. He has an MD from Harvard and a number of scientists working for him. This web page is part of an effort to find out, "are his claims a chimera or significant". Some have said he has used lawyers to suppress dissent. I'm looking for more information and people willing to investigate some of BLP's "evidence". I have found that he really has the degrees claimed and someone else said tests on compounds looked interesting.
I'm a skeptic with a long
running interest in the long
history of false free energy claims. I've made a close investigation
of Dennis Lee and Joe Newman. I'd rather
that there be near free energy. It would solve many environmental and
political problems. I offer a $10,000 prize for proof of this
sort of thing. So far, I've seen no evidence for free energy, but I have
been victimized by powerful forces resorting to dirty tricks to attempt to
silence the voice of skepticism. There is a paperback pop-science
book by John Gribbin that explains in laymens terms why you can't shrink
hydrogen atoms. The name of the book is: "The search for superstrings, symmetry and the theory
you can find his discussion of why atoms are the size they are on pages 53-55.
Hydrinos - a skeptical look - this takes a look at some serious mathematical short-comings in the theory
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hydrino/files/Analysis.rtf - a list of errors in hydrino theory and Mill's response
CSICOP / Skeptical Briefs / December 1997 / Reality Check / Sci-Fi Art, the Levitron, and Collapsing Atoms
Replication of Mills Light Water Calorimetry Experiment - Introduction - 22NOV00
Weird scienceThe Village Voice: story on Mills . . and Another story on Mills' medical claims
The Order of the Tortoise - an effort to look for proof Tortoise Members
hydrino linksHydrino Study Group
CETI Cold Fusion Experiment - a failed attempt to replicate their claims
Deja.com: Re: Mills sics lawyers on physicists
what about CETI? - this includes a proposal to measure cells
Failed attempt to replicate excess energy
Mill's use of lawyers to intimidate open discussion
Peter Zimerman's review of Mill's theory
stories on BLP and Mills:
Mention of the BLP controversy from the Dallas Morning News
Academics Question The Science Behind BlackLight Power, Inc.: The Harvard Crimson Online
Fill 'Er Up: With Plasma? Wild Science: Entrepreneur Takes On Quantum Theory Harvard M.D.Challenges Big Bang Theory
LA Times story
Note In section 23.153-154 of Mills theory, he totally confuses units of
time and distance.
It has also been pointed out that large areas of Mills theory appear to have been lifted from
another source with out proper attribution.
the following is a dialog which occurred on the free_energy email list.
>I got my copy from Peter Jansson, P.P., P.E. who did the test and
>write up for his masters thesis from Rowan University in New Jesey.
>The title is Hydrocatalysis: A New Energy Paradigm for the 21st
>Century. Peter is a straight shooter and I have no reason to
>believe that he would falsify or bias any of the tests he did. As
>I said, he left Atlantic Energy (now Conectiv) and is pursuing his
>doctorate at MIT and was planning on doing some work with Cambridge
Thank you very much for the info.
In a quick net search, I turned up the following:
Title : Hydrocatalysis : a new energy paradigm for the 21st
century / by Mark Jansson.
Author : Jansson, Peter Mark.
Call Number : Publisher : 1997.
Subject Heading(s): Power resources.
Description : iv 73 leaves : charts ; 29 cm.
Notes : Thesis (M.A.)--Rowan University, 1997. Includes
I note that it's a Master of Arts (as opposed to Master of Science)
thesis. Any idea what department awarded the degree?
I also found:
Similar results have been obtained in other laboratories,
including in a test run by Peter Jansson, an engineer and
manager of market development for Atlantic Energy Inc.
Jansson, who conducted the test independently of his company,
said Atlantic Energy was "strongly considering" what he called
a "strategic investment" in BlackLight Power.
Does the Jansson thesis cover this test?
I also found:
Betty Kennedy, a spokesperson for Connectiv, said the New
utility has in investment in BlackLight as "part of an R&D effort
to keep us in the forefront of technology." The investment was
made by Atlantic Electric, now a part of Connectiv, and was
evaluated by a researcher who is no longer on staff. Ms. Kennedy
said this was unusual. Atlantic Electric generally turned to
Safeguard Scientific, a Pennsylvania company, for help in
evaluating companies with emerging technologies. She does not
know why Safeguard was not consulted in this instance.
Does anybody know if Peter Jansson has any financial connections
with Blacklight Power?
I'm becoming less and less interested in this thesis. Before I go
through the effort and expense of ordering it through Rowan
University, could you please quote the relevant section that
lead you to make the statement "the people doing the tests seem to
have found varying amounts of anomalous energy". i.e. what kind of
energy (heat? electrical?) and how was it measured? How large were
the input and output flows of energy? Does the author directly state
that he measured "anomalous energy"?
TITLE: Replication of the Apparent Excess
Heat Effect in a Light
Water-Potassium Carbonate-Nickel Electrolytic Cell
Document ID: 19960016952 N (96N22559) File Series: NASA Technical Reports
Report Number: NASA-TM-107167 E-10118 NAS 1.15:107167
Sales Agency & Price: CASI Hardcopy A03 CASI Microfiche A01 - No Copyright
Authors: Niedra, Janis M. (NYMA, Inc.) Myers,
Ira T. (NASA Lewis Research
Center) Fralick, Gustave C. (NASA Lewis Research Center) Baldwin, Richard S. (NASA Lewis
Published: Feb 01, 1996
Corporate Source: NASA Lewis Research Center (Cleveland, OH United States)
Contract Number: None NASA Subject Category: Energy Production and Conversion
Replication of experiments claiming to demonstrate excess heat production in light water-Ni-K2CO3 electrolytic cells was found to produce an apparent excess heat of
11 W maximum, for 60 W electrical power into the cell. Power gains range from 1.06 to 1.68. The cell was operated at four different dc current levels plus one pulsed current run at 1 Hz, 10% duty cycle. The 28 liter cell used in these verification tests was on loan from a private corporation whose own tests with similar cells are documented to produce 50 W steady excess heat for a continuous period exceeding hundreds of days. The apparent excess heat can not be readily explained either in terms of nonlinearity of the cell's thermal conductance at a low temperature differential or by thermoelectric heat pumping. However, the present data do admit efficient recombination of
dissolved hydrogen-oxygen as an ordinary explanation. Calorimetry methods and heat balance calculations for the verification tests are described. Considering the large magnitude of benefit if this effect is found to be a genuine new energy source, a more thorough investigation of
evolved heat in the nickel-hydrogen system in both electrolytic and gaseous loading cells remains warranted.
Major Subject Terms:
TEMPERATURE EFFECTS LIGHT WATER CARBONATES ELECTROLYTIC CELLS THERMOELECTRICITY ENERGY TECHNOLOGY
Minor Subject Terms:
NICKEL SPACECRAFT POWER SUPPLIES THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY POTASSIUM COMPOUNDS HEAT MEASUREMENT
NASA Access Help Desk E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 301-621-0390 FAX: 301-621-0134
Eric's attempt to directly contact people purported to support BLP's assertions:
I got through to Alfred Miller of Lehigh university. He knew of no one doing calorimetry studies. He has done XPS studies on samples Mills gave him. He's seen interesting things that are not easily explained - but is very clear that it is still inconclusive. He doesn't poo poo this stuff out of hand, but I gather that he is not convinced the laws of physics must be rewritten either. I don't believe his skill areas overlap my own. So I can't really conclude anything significant from his data. It doesn't support Mills - but it doesn't prove him a fraud either.
David McMahon says "Mills entire theory is based
on an error. There is nothing to it, so I accept nothing about hydrinos. I
accept nothing Mills says about quantum mechanics. Mills does not seem to
understand quantum mechanics in the first place. There is no math or theory
to think about regarding hydrinos because the entire
- the following appeared on the hydrino email list
A friend of mine who has read some of Mills papers has some questions I would
like to throw out for discussion:
1. If this is all a classical problem across 45 orders of magnitude as
he(Mills) claims, there seems to be a problem. Consider the problem of a
macroscopic positive point source suspended within a negatively charged
sphere. There is an equilibrium point with the point being in the center of
the sphere, but the system is fantastically unstable. The slightest
perturbation will cause the two to leave the equilibirum point and collide.
Mills hammers Bohr for his postulates of the electron orbit, yet he seems to
be postulating too. How can this point-shell configuration be stable?
2. If the orbisphere is a sphere, how do electrons leave nuclei? Do the
nuclei rip through the sphere? How does the sphere repair itself? How long
does it take to repair itself?
3. How thick is the orbisphere? If the orbisphere has constant mass, then as
it resizes, the thickness changes and the rotation velocity changes.
Eventually in his 1/n scheme, the orbisphere rotation speed will exceed c.
4. I see the word orbisphere a lot. I should see orbiellipsoid. Does
that electron clouds have elliptic shapes?
5. The pre-Bohr problem: As I read the Mills paper, he talked about 1/n
levels. Why doesn't the electron cascade from 1/2 to 1/infinity and crash
into the nucleus once it leaves the ground state? He spends time discussing
why the electron can't go from the ground state to the 1/2 state, but he
doesn't seem to explain the mechanism of subsequent transitions.
The following is offered from a Chemistry professor:
I put another hour into blacklightpower.com.
So far it seems that there are no papers in peer-reviwed journals on the website. The
techical papers available seem to have no journal reference. The "papers" presented at ACS
meetings are talks, not papers, and are not peer-reviewed.
Technically, there is not much I can follow, but they say in the first "technical paper" that
conversion of a hydrogen atom (whose existence as a free species is doubtful, but is
on a metal surface apparently)
to a hydride ion makes it smaller. The sizes on my big laboratory chart say the opposite. There
was no obvious source of electron to make the negative hydride ion.
A statement is made in the first technical "paper" that "Alkali nitrates are extraordinarily
volatile, and can be distilled at 350-500 deg. C. This sounded wrong, so I looked up
all the ones I could find in the CRC Handbook. Lithium nitrate decomposes at 600° C, sodium
nitrate at 380°, potassium nitrate at 400° and cesium nitrate at over 400°.
So two blunders were found, making the whole business suspect.
Other posts to the Hydrino email list of interest:
Subject: Re: Re: Orbitspheres PowerPoint Presentation
In a message dated 5/28/00 9:51:55 AM Mountain Daylight Time,
<< 1 Deterministic BC.
2 Orbitsphere vs point particle
3 no "infamous" uncertainty principle
DR Mills theory is DETERMINISTIC. >>
Deterministic BC? This claim by Mills has never made sense to me. The
probability interpretation is not a boundary condition. Members of the group
who have taken partial differential equations should know that. The so-called
fourth boundary condition, that the wave function goes to zero as r goes to
infinity, is not a "boundary condition" either. That is a result of the wave
function being square-integrable. If you want to know what boundary
conditions are, see Griffiths derivation of the infinite square well
potential on page 24 of his Introduction to quantum mechanics book.
Incidently, the infinite square well, while somewhat artificial, is a very
instructive example that allows one to understand the hydrogen atom more
fully, including why energy is discrete. Now what about the "infamous"
uncertainty principle? The uncertainty principle is not only "infamous" is
has been shown correct in tens of thousands of experiments and has not once
been proven wrong. The uncertainty principle can also be derived from first
principles in mathematics, both from fourier analysis and from linear
algebra. It should not be surprising that it comes from fourier analysis,
since free particles can be thought of as wave packets. It is also not
surprising that it can be derived from linear algebra, since wave functions
form a complex vector space. For a proper description of what the uncertainty
principle means (instead of what is found in the latest Shrodinger Cat book)
I would reference interested readers to Griffiths pages 17-19 and pages
Some notes/questions about Mills paper "The Hydrogen Atom Revisited":
Page 8: Equations 44-45: Mills incorrectly asserts that the Schrodinger
equation corresponds to the case where the constant c1 fails to vanish and
leads to infinite solutions. This is incorrect, as anyone who has had a
quantum mechanics class with the derivation of the hydrogen atom can attest.
The constant c1 is set to zero. This is demonstrated in Griffiths on page134,
Mills then goes on to describe the solution for an ionized electron and
states that it would be infinite, cannot be normalized. He also states the
angular momentum of the free electron would be infinite. This is a good
example that shows Mills does not understand QM. For one, the solutions for
the free electron are taken to be a superposition of seperable solutions to
the schrodinger equation, which DOES produce a normalizable solution for a
free particle, which is called a wave packet. The superposition is obtained
by integrating over k.
I also find Mills discussion of a free electron in this context bizaare. For
one, who would use the schrodinger equation in the context of the coulomb
potential to obtain the solutions for a free particle? Free particle
solutions are obtained by using schroginders equation with the potential set
to zero, and then integrating over k as I just described. Now what about the
infinite angular momentum? Angular momentum with respect to what? The
nucleus? If the electron is "free" and it is basically out to r at infinity,
what meaning does this have?
On Page 10, Mills states that the Sch. equation is not lorentz invariant and
violates SR. Well, no kidding. The Sch. equation is used in non-relativistic
situations. You don't trot out SR unless called for. And there is a wave
equation that obeys SR and can be used in relativistic situations, its called
the Klein-Gordan equation.
On Page 2, equation 1, Mills lists the Rydberg equation. There is a sign
error. Either nf and ni should be reversed, or R should have a minus sign.As
listed, it would give negative frequencies. Also, why does Mills list En with
the ground state energy out to 3 decimal places? Perhaps I am picking nits
here, but that is kind of strange to write it like that, it is written as
On page 3 he refers to a "Rutherford orbit" and says that
a planetary model of the atom to explain the spectral lines of hydrogen. I
have never heard the term "Rutherford orbit". Rutherford proposed that the
charge and mass of the atom were concentrated in the nucleus to explain
scattering of alpha particles, as far as I know this concept was not proposed
by Rutherford to explain spectral lines ( I checked in Modern Physics by
Kenneth Krane to make sure my memory was not failing). It says that it was
Bohr who proposed the planetary model to explain the hydrogen spectrum.
I find the digression to attempt to explain Bohr's theory with standard
orbital mechanics on pages 4 & 5 strange, non-standard and bizarre.
Overall, I find this paper is sloppily written and I could see why it would
be turned down by a professional physics journal.
Subject: Helpful information
I have examined Mills's work, as posted
on the BLP web site, in some
detail. Since I haven't been to BLP I can't claim any knowledge of
what's going on in his labs. However, I can say with total confidence
that the theoretical aspects of Mills's work are utter rubbish. The
"theory" of hydrinos is completely full of mathematical mistakes, from
start to finish. As a work of theoretical physics, it's totally
meaningless, and it's so badly flawed that there really is no way to
For those of you who complain
that the theory is often dismissed out
of hand by professional scientists who do not give it due
consideration, here's a bit of explanation for why the theory is so
1. Mills starts with a standard
scalar wave equation. This can't
possibly be a valid equation for the electron in a hydrogen atom.
For starters, the wave equation doesn't incorporate the
electromagnetic force. So it's inconceivable that the solutions to
this equation could represent bound states of an atom which is held
together by the electromagnetic force. (By contrast, the
Schrodinger equation for a hydrogen atom does include the
2. Also, the wave equation
doesn't contain Planck's constant. Since
we know that the electron's energy levels depend on this physical
constant, it has to appear somewhere in the basic equation. (It
does appear in the Schrodinger equation, of course.) I noticed
that somewhere on the BLP web site Mills refers to his wave
equation as a "Schrodinger-type" equation. This is completely
misleading. He's starting with an equation which can't possibly
have bound-state solutions.
3. How, then, does Mills get his
"orbitspheres" to appear to follow
the known energy levels of the hydrogen atom? Simple. He solves
the equation incorrectly. His use of a delta function to solve the
radial component of the wave equation is a bad joke. It's horribly
wrong. The correct solutions are given by spherical Bessel
functions. There is NO way to solve the wave equation with a delta
function in radius, period. This is really basic, textbook stuff
on differential equations. The so-called "solutions" that Mills
gives do not actually solve the wave equation that he uses.
4. The point of all this is: If
you start with the wave equation that
Mills uses, and you solve it correctly (no matter what boundary
condition you use), you will NEVER get solutions which look like
bound states in a hydrogen atom. The claim that Mills's theory can
correctly reproduce the known energy levels of hydrogen is
completely without merit. There is no way to get the energy levels
of hydrogen as solutions to an equation that does not include the
electronic charge or Planck's constant. And it is TOTALLY
incorrect to say that delta functions are a solution to the radial
component of the wave equation. It's impossible for a delta
function to be a solution to a differential equation like this,
because the derivative of a delta function is not a meaningful
This is just the tip of the
iceberg in terms of the gross mathematical
and logical errors in Mills's work. I won't go on to list more of
these, but I hope I've made the point that the starting point of the
theory is so horribly flawed that nothing that follows from it could
possibly be correct.
Thus, after careful consideration
of the evidence, it's easy to
conclude that there simply is no hydrino theory. The so-called
"theory", as Mills proposes it, is just meaningless. Nobody with any
understanding of quantum mechanics or differential equations could
conceivably make such errors.
This isn't a theory that is even
worthy of being tested by experiment.
The "conclusions" and "predictions" of the theory are mathematically
invalid, and they are not even mathematically consistent with the wave
equation that is the starting point of Mills's theory. To say that
the hydrino theory "predicts" anything at all would be completely
untrue. I'd also like to point out that there's no truth to the
statement that Mills's theory "challenges" the big bang, unless you
consider a bunch of math mistakes to be a credible scientific
On the subject of peer review:
Any referee for a reputable physics
journal would catch these mistakes in a matter of minutes. It's not
just a matter of scientists disagreeing with Mills's predictions or
conclusions. It's that the math leading up to those predictions makes
no sense, so the predictions are meaningless. If you are
wondering why the "scientific establishment" doesn't take Mills
seriously, it's because his work demonstrates a very dismal grasp of
basic concepts of physics and math.
Bottom line: there is no
mathematically consistent theory which
predicts the existence of the hydrino. Mills's theory does not
correctly predict anything whatsoever. There is no theoretical reason
to believe that there is any such thing as a hydrino.
The following is another anonymous reaction to Mills' theory:
I have a Ph.D. in physics and I have went through the
mathematical and theoretical derivations of
Mills in the book he published. In summary his results are incorrect. This
is what he does.
1) He starts out with the 3-D shroedinger equation to make things
2) Then he solves the z, theta, portions by separation of variables
the usual way to make it look even more
3) Then a miracle happens and he assumes that he can solve the
radial, r, portion by assuming that r is continues and not quantized.
4) He uses this solution to rewrite all of his Quasi Quantum
Mechanics and obtain all of his wacky results.
In summary, Mills got a hold of some undergraduate quantum mechanics
books and rederived everything assuming that
the radial part of the equation is continuous and not quantized. His results
PS (As usually the guy who gave
me the Mills book to show me some "new
physics" was some old misled engineer.)
Skeptic Magazine, Vol. 8 no 4 just came out with a nice 5 page article called "Bigger Than Fire - A Scientific Examination of Randell Mills' "Hydrino" Theory" by Aaron J. Barth.
It gives a standard overview of Mills and BLP
that everyone on this list would be fairly well familiar with.
The article moves on to the mainstream Bohr & Schrodinger models. From there it discusses Mills' theory. Among the criticisms are "The wave equation that Mills uses doesn't contain any terms which describe this electromagnetic force, and it doesn't have "bound state " solutions which could potentially represent an electron physically attached to an atom." and "It's as though Mills were claiming that the waves should just stand still forever at a fixed distance from the spot where the pebble hit the water, rather than expanding away and traveling across the pond. The mathematical expression Mills gives for the charge-density function of the electron aren't solutions to any equation of motion at all.". He also accuses Mills of "artificially grafting the Bohr model onto his theory in a way that is mathematically nonsensical.". Barth slices up Mills' astrophysical evidence by pointing out that Mills harvests spectrometer band information from noise levels. He goes on to say that "The hydrino theory contains so many other severe flaws in its logic, mathematics, and physical interpretation that it would be impossible to list all of them here." Barth does say one nice thing: "It's possible that he has stumbled on some interesting new chemical process; ultimately peer review and market forces will decide whether any of his laboratory work has useful applications."
the following reflects a conversation that was posted to the hydrino email
between a skeptic and one of Mill's lawyers. I personally feel it is wrong to
use lawyers to interfere with free discussion
this section is unfortunately down due to request by the original author ----