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89) Hydrinos again:
Ludwik Kowalski, <kowalskiL@mail.montclair.edu>
Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, NJ, 07043, (8/11/03)
Norm Winningstad, a retired engineer and businessman, probably read what I composed about hydrinos in unit 57. That is why, I suppose, he sent me an e-mail message with an attached pdf file. That file contained a recent article from Journal of Physics published by R. Mills and P. Ray (J Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 36, 2003, pages 1535 to 1542). The title of the article is "Extreme ultraviolet spectroscopy of helium-hydrogen plasma." I see that the authors do not use the term hydrino, the term fractional Rydberg states of atomic hydrogen is used instead. Am I right on this? Did the authors really demonstrate the existence of such states?" Unfortunately, I can not answer this question by myself; my background in spectroscopy is limited. The topic is likely to be familiar to astrophysicists; sun is made from a mixture of hot hydrogen and helium. Hopefully, some experts will evaluate the paper for people like myself. By the way, the role of authority in science is not at all minor; we depend on each others expertise.
The unit #57 on my list was triggered by a theory presented by Mills. That is why I wrote that existence of hydrinos is based on theoretical arguments rather than on confirmed experimental data. Was I wrong? It depends on how the new article will be evaluated by experts. My guess is that raw data will be confirmed but the interpretation will be challenged. Perhaps competent spectroscopists will find less exotic explanations of lines observed by Mills and Ray. In any case, I see no reason to associate hydrinos with cold fusion. Mills himself wrote (in a recent article on excess heat) a hitherto unknown exothermic chemical reaction is responsible. In other words, he does not think a nuclear process is involved.
Journal of Physics, as one can see at http://www.iop.org , is an electronic journal in which articles are said to be peer-reviewed. But what does this mean in practice?
To answer this question look at the following e-mail message. BLP stands for the research lab headed by R. Mills. Their web site
has links to published papers. Explaining how to search this site the author writes:
Ludwik, I did a little digging, and I would recommend you go to the BLP web site, and click on the left on Technical Papers. Then at 2nd from the top, click on Abstracts. Then go to #1, about the NASA report. Go to # 45, which has a Journal of Applied Physics peer-reviewed article (2002) Vol. 92, No. 12, pgs. 7008-7022. #49, Journal of Molecular Structure. #62, IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Vol. 30, No. 2 (2002) Pgs. 639-653.
I will be the first to admit that it is frustrating to have most of the new articles listed as submitted or in Press. I assume the first means it is not peer-reviewed yet, and the second, that it is peer-reviewed, but not yet printed. You will note the list is long, largely because of the crescendo of writing lately at BLP as a result of their experimental work being fruitful, due to years of optimizing. I suspect the reason that they do not name the journals where the papers were submitted, or where they are in press, is because BLP experienced having papers through the peer-review process, only to have the editor over-rule his own peer-review panel, just before printing, because it was leaked to Park and/or Zimmerman, who blew into the editor's ear about how foolish he will look, if he publishes some thing contrary to Schroedinger's Equations.
I do not know what printing means for the Journal of Physics; it an an electronic journal. What would prevent an author from posting an article which was submitted but not yet reviewed? Or what would prevent an author from posting an article which was peer-reviewed but not approved by the editor? I wish the article of Mills and Roy were published in Physical Review, or another traditional journal. In that case seeing it on paper would mean that both the referees and the editor decided that the paper is reliable.
Browsing the Internet I found this web page: < http://www.phact.org/e/blp.htm >. The title is BlackLight Power - do they have something significant? Let me quote some pieces. Referring to Mills theory somebody wrote:
Eric, 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 look respectable.
2) Then he solves the z, theta, portions by separation of variables the usual way to make it look even more believable.
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 are BS
This resonates with what somebody else wrote about Mills theory.
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 "repair" it. 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 totally incorrect.
This is followed by a long point-by-point elaboration. Referring to published experimental results somebody else wrote:
I put another hour into blacklightpower.com. So far it seems that there are no papers in peer-reviewed journals on the website. The technical 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.
And here is the quoted abstract from the February 1996 NASA technical report
Document ID: 19960016952 N (96N22559) File Series: NASA Technical Reports Report Number: NASA-TM-107167 E-10118 NAS 1.15:107167
(NASA Lewis Research Center). Authors: Niedra, Janis M. et al.
Replication of the Apparent Excess Heat Effect in a Light Water-Potassium Carbonate-Nickel Electrolytic Cell
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.
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