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284) Black Light Power calorimetry
Underground energy states of hydrogen atoms

Ludwik Kowalski; 3/1/2006
Department of Mathematical Sciences
Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, NJ, 07043

Occasionally I receive messages from readers who I do not know. Here is a message received two days ago: “Dear Sir, I have been following this field since I first acquired Internet access in 1993. Having read both these items on your web site, I would offer the following as IMO the most likely scenario. The Russian device [see items #216 and #226] works as follows:-

The cavitation reaction works to produce a strong vibration in the dielectric material which is probably piezoelectric. This can produce initial charges which can indeed be separated by a flowing dielectric fluid (very pure water). The resulting high voltage at
the exit results in a plasma as stated. Now comes the new information:-

In the plasma, O++ ions are created which function as Mills catalysts for the shrinkage of the Hydrogen atom to hydrinos, or in the case of heavy water of Deuterium atoms to deuterinos. In either case, considerable amounts of energy are released. Occasionally a few deuterinos will shrink to the point where they may undergo a fusion reaction with a relatively short half life. However most of the energy probably comes from the shrinkage reactions. The Russians can't admit this without infringing upon Mills' patent(s).

Additional info:(1) The ionization energy of O+ is 35.117 eV, so a hot plasma is required to produce it, preferably combined with a strong electric field. The Russian invention meets this requirement. (2) Mills' website is . . . (3) The major problem with the Russian device is likely that the dielectric material eventually self destructs as a consequence of the severe vibration. This may result in too short a lifetime to be commercially useful. Nevertheless, it could well serve as an illustration of what is possible, and may be capable of commercialization with some more work.”
I asked Robin van Spaandonk, about his background and asked for the permission to quote. He gave the permission and added: “I dropped out of physics after 2 years at the University of Leiden about 25 years ago, and fell into computer programming, like so many drop outs. I'm interested because it's going to be about a million times more important to humanity than the discovery of fire. How can I not be interested? You can find my own "take" on Mills' work at: <>

The above massage prompted me to go to Mills’ company’s website

I has several interesting items. I was glad that the company is still in business of conducting research and promoting promising technologies. I clicked on the “recent press” link and saw The Wall Street Journal article (1/9/06) about the company’s business. The second item was an article from Guardian Unlimited (11/4/05) about fuel’s paradise. Most downloadable papers on Mills’ website deal with theoretical physics (from which the concept of hydrinos is derived) and with experimental spectroscopy (presumably confirming theoretical predictions). What attracted my attention was calorimetry and excess heat. That is what I want to describe here. But before doing this I would like to share some observations.

Unlike the CMNS research the hydrino investigations seem to be based on a theory. Here is how this is described in the above mentioned Guardian Unlimited: “Randell Mills, a Harvard University medic who also studied electrical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, claims to have built a prototype power source that generates up to 1,000 times more heat than conventional fuel. Independent scientists claim to have verified the experiments and Dr. Mills says that his company, Blacklight Power, has tens of millions of dollars in investment lined up to bring the idea to market. And he claims to be just months away from unveiling his creation. The problem is that according to the rules of quantum mechanics, the physics that governs the behavior of atoms, the idea is theoretically impossible. . .

What has much of the physics world up in arms is Dr. Mills's claim that he has produced a new form of hydrogen, the simplest of all the atoms, with just a single proton circled by one electron. In his "hydrino", the electron sits a little closer to the proton than normal, and the formation of the new atoms from traditional hydrogen releases huge amounts of energy. This is scientific heresy. According to quantum mechanics, electrons can only exist in an atom in strictly defined orbits, and the shortest distance allowed between the proton and electron in hydrogen is fixed. The two particles are simply not allowed to get any closer.”

It is unfortunate that critics focus on interpretation of facts rather than on the claimed reality of facts. In that respect the situation is not very different from that in CMNS. That field does not have an accepted theory and researchers were originally guided by a hypothesis of Fleischmann and Pons that excess heat has “nuclear origin.” Instead of focusing on reality of excess heat critics focused on the fact that the hypothesis is not consistent with what is known about nuclear fusion. The history of CMNS would probably be very different if the authors wrote “we discovered excess heat of unknown origin.”

As it stands, the CMNS is based on the assumption that excess heat has nuclear origin. The HS (hydrino science) does not make such claim; it is based on the idea of atomic origin of excess heat. Excess heat, according to Dr. Mills, comes from new kind of chemical reactions. These reactions are much more exothermic than reactions with which we are familiar. And here is another quote from the same article: ”According to Dr Mills, there can be only one explanation: quantum mechanics must be wrong. ‘We've done a lot of testing. We've got 50 independent validation reports, we've got 65 peer-reviewed journal articles,’ he said. ‘We ran into this theoretical resistance and there are some vested interests here. People are very strong and fervent protectors of this [quantum] theory that they use.’ Rick Maas, a chemist at the University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNC) who specializes in sustainable energy sources, was allowed unfettered access to Blacklight's laboratories this year. ‘We went in with a healthy amount of skepticism. While it would certainly be nice if this were true, in my position as head of a research institution, I really wouldn't want to make a mistake. The last thing I want is to be remembered as the person who derailed a lot of sustainable energy investment into something that wasn't real.’ “ Theoretical idea Dr. Mills are presented in a book he wrote; it can be downloaded (in the pdf ) form the company website. I wish I were qualified to comment on the content of that book. But I can show the notes composed while browsing other files at that website.

My Notes
a) How does the blacklight process work? The H2 molecules are broken into atoms. Ordinary hydrogen atoms are then reduced in size by interacting with catalysts. Transitions from the hydrogen ground states to the below-ground states liberate energy. “Products [are hydrinos] lower-energy H atoms, molecular ions, molecules, and hydride ions.” The animation of the sequence is played in the <http://www. Hydrino_Animation.avi>

b) Explaining the release of energy (in the animation captions) they say: “First , energy is resonantly transferred from hydrogen to catalyst, which ionizes. Then the hydrogen atom shrinks to form hydrino and either releases a specific frequency of light or creates ‘fast’ (very hot) hydrogen.” In the Step 4, labeled “disproportionalation’ they say “A hydrino atom may also serve as the catalyst.” The smallest hydrino shown is H/4.

c) What does the term “resonantly transferred” refer to? It refers to transitions from more excited to less excited states. In this case the “more excited” state is the ground state of an ordinary hydrogen atom while the “less excited” is a presumably existing state of lower energy. The role of the catalyst, an atom able to temporary absorb the energy released in the transition, is not clear to me. The catalyst, they say, must have excited levels matching the energy released by the hydrogen atom. That is what the term “resonance” refers to. If the underground energy states exist then single hydrogen atoms placed in a vacuum should also be able to undergo transitions that are said to be energetically favorable. What kind of selection rules control probabilities of transitions to the Mills’ underground states?

d) The company will offer “a new energy source based on a breakthrough in hydrogen chemistry with paradigm-shifting applications.” Hydrinos are said to be hydrogen atoms whose binding energies, BE, are larger than for ordinary hydrogen atoms.

BE=13.6 (eV)/(1/p^2)

where p is an integer between 2 and 137. They are formed reacting with catalyst atoms whose “net energy of reaction is about m*27.2 eV, where m is an integer. The reaction results in release of energy and in the decrease of the size of hydrogen atom.

“Fractional Rydberg states” (underground states) have energies: E=13.598 eV /n^2 where n=1, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, etc. . . These are states characterized by fractional quantum numbers. Emission lines corresponding to underground sates were presumably observed.

n=1 r=1.8660 A ioniz_energy=0.7542 eV lambda=1644 nm
n=1/2 r=0.9330 A ioniz_energy=3.047 eV lambda=406.9 nm
n=1/3 r=0.6220 A ioniz_energy=6.610 eV lambda=187.6 nm
n=1/4 r=0.4665 A ioniz_energy=11.23 eV lambda=110.4 nm

The wavelengths shown in the last column refer to the ultraviolet light light or to soft (not very penetrating) X rays. I suppose the the name “BlackLight process” was chosen to emphasize emission of the invisible electromagnetic radiation. Turning hydrogen into hydrinos, they say, releases much more energy than burning that amount of hydrogen (by a factor larger than 100).

e) The “in-depth tutorial” defines plasma as charged gas. Is it a mistake? Plasma is normally neutral; its positive and negative ions exactly balance each other on the macroscopic scale. They also say that “only certain atoms or ions are predicted to serve as catalysts for the BlackLight process, such as helium, potassium and strontium ions. The catalyst absorbs energy from the hydrogen atom (resonant energy transfer) which shrinks to become a hydrino atom. . . . Hydrino atoms then react to form new compounds. . . . These compounds are highly stable due to the higher binding energy of hydrinos. Once formed, hydrinos may sustain the reaction. For instance, two one-half hydrinos may react to form the one-fourth hydrino, a normal hydrogen atom and a net energy release of 68 eV.” Photons of such energies have been observed. They are, according to the tutorial, associated with dark matter.

f) In a section devoted to the business aspects of Mills’ scientific discoveries one can see the following statement: “ With water as the fuel, the operational cost of BlackLight Power generators will be very inexpensive. Moreover, rather than air pollutants or radioactive waste, novel hydride compounds with potential commercial applications are the by-products. The BlackLight Process offers a prospectively efficient, clean, cheap, and versatile thermal energy source. Two of the potential applications of its technology are in the heating and electric power production.

Heat generating prototypes have indicated the BlackLight Process to be competitive with existing primary generation sources over a range of scales from microdistributed to central power generation. . . . The BlackLight Process is a new primary energy source that has unique competitive advantages in all energy markets: electricity, heat, cogeneration (electricity production with waste heat recovery and utilization), and motive power.”

g) Should one worry about accumulation of hydrinos (and of their compounds) in our environment? I am thinking about a possibility that large-scale power plants, based on blacklight technology, will be used. What should we do with the “non-radioactive ashes” produced in such plants? The ashes are said to be very stable. But can they also be dangerous? Pure hydinos would probably be escaping from the atmosphere but molecules of hydrino compound would be gravitationally retained on our planet, even if they were gasses.

h) One obvious difference, between the situation in the CMNS and in HS (hydrino science), should be mentioned. CMNS researchers (experimentalists, theoreticians and inventors) act as independently working individuals. The HS researchers, on the other hand, seem to be highly organized under one leader, Dr. R. Mills. Organizational structure, and coordination of research, should be an advantage, provided the leader is knowledgeable, flexible and willing to learn from criticism. An effective leader should not act as dictator, s/he should listen what the coworkers suggest and coordinate their initiatives. Progress in the field of CMNS would probably be more rapid if an effective organizational structure could be established.

Those who read items #264, #267 and #270 know that last summer I participated in two investigations of excess heat. That explains why the 2003 paper of R.L. Mills et. all, “Plasma power source based on a catalytic reaction of atomic hydrogen measured by water bath calorimetry” attracted my attention. The article I downloaded was published in Thermochimica Acta, vol 4006, 28 November, 2003, pages 35-53. It describes a setup in which excess heat was measured calorimetrically. The electric power was delivered to the setup at the rate of 8.1 W while the heat was generated at the rate of 30.0 W. The excess power is reported as 21.9 W. That corresponds to a much higher COP (coefficient of performance=3.7) than reported by Fauvarque et. all. “The sources of error were the error in the calibration curve (+/- 0.05 W) and the measured microwave input power (+/- 1 W).”

The setup consisted of a quartz tube (inner diameter half-inch) that could be filled with a desired gas, for example, a mixture of 10% H2 and 90% of He, at a desired pressure, such as 10 Torr. The tube was placed into a microwave cavity delivering electric energy to the gas at the frequency of 2.45 GHz. That resulted in the ionization of gasses. The electric energy, in the form of microwaves, delivered to the gas, for example, at the rate 30 W, was known. Measuring the input power was performed with power diodes, identical in all experiments. Rates at which thermal energy was generated, in a setup whose heat capacity was known, were determined from the rates at which temperatures were changing. Small thermal power corrections had to be made to account for the small conduction and convection losses.

The main purpose of the described experiment was to measure the temperatures of ionized gasses (plasma) on the basis of Doppler thermal broadening of spectral lines. The interesting conclusion was that, under identical conditions, “the average hydrogen atom temperature [in the presence of 98% of He] was measured to be 180-210 eV versus ~3 eV for the pure helium. The electron temperature for helium-hydrogen was 30,500 K compared to 7400 K for pure helium.” Ionized helium is believed to be a catalyst for production of hydrinos, the process presumably responsible for excess heat. Hydrogen mixed with Kr and with Xe was also studied under identical conditions (input power 85 W).

P.S. (3/3/06)
I also looked into a more recent publication of R. Mills (March, 2005) downloadable from the above website. The link to this article is located at the end of the list of publications that pops up after one clicks on the “what is new” link. The long document (over 100 pages) is entitled "The Hydrino: Lower-level States of the Hydrogen Atom Which Have Remarkable Consequences." Near the end (why are pages not numbered) Mills refers to the Calvet calorimeter. The description states: ”Calorimeter wall consists of thousands of thermoelectric elements in series. Thermoelectric elements transduce heat gradient to voltage which is proportional to energy released in cell. Highly sensitive and reproductive. The calibration curve, voltage (0 to 4 V) versus wattage (0 to ~16 W), is a nearly perfect straight line. The intercept is zero and the slope is 0.233 V/W.

That calorimeter was used to measure excess heat from electrochemical cells when potassium, rather than helium, was used a s catalyst. That is interesting in terms of what has been reported in items #267 and #270. We also used the K2CO3 electrolyte. If hydrinos are produced in Mills’ cell then they should also be produced in our setups, as suggested by Robin van Spaandonk. By the way, contrary to situations described in the item #270, Richard is now reporting (so far in private) the excess heat of ~10% at 350 V. Mills seems to be studying low voltage electrolysis. Comparing two electrolytes he reported: “0.6 M K2CO3 electrolysis produces 0.4 watts of thermal energy above the control Na2CO3 during pulsed electrolysis.” The wattage is small but the COP is ~2. All this is very interesting and worth confirming. Were calorimetric studies of Mills et. all confirmed by other researchers?

As I mentioned at the beginning, the excess heat from formation of hydrinos is not claimed to be nuclear. And it has nothing to do with condensed (crystal-like) matter. But a small fraction of excess heat reported by Mills can be nuclear. I am thinking about H2 molecules formed from two hydrinos. The atomic nuclei in such molecules are closer to each other than in ordinary hydrogen molecules. Thus a probability of under-barrier fusion of two hydrinos must be much higher than in common hydrogen molecules.

P.S. (3/4/06):
A friend who saw the draft of this item informed me that last year The Institute of Physics (London) has published a short article on hydrinos. . . . You can see it at: <> But this refers to the theoretical aspects of hydrino science only. I was disappointed by not seeing a single words about experimental facts discovered by Mills and his coworkers.

P.S. (3/4/06):
A friend who saw the draft of this item informed me that last year The Institute of Physics (London) has published a short article on hydrinos. . . . You can see it at: <> But this refers to the theoretical aspects of hydrino science only. I was disappointed by not seeing a single words about experimental facts discovered by Mills and his coworkers.

Another friend informed me that Mills discovered cold fusion in a cell whose cathode was Ni and whose electrolyte was K2CO3 dissolved in ordinary water. The reference sent was: Mills, R., and Kneizys, S. P. 1991. "Excess Heat Production by the Electrolysis of an Aqueous Potassium Carbonate Electrolyte and the Implications for Cold Fusion", Fusion Technology 20, 65. I went to the library at <> and discovered that it has not a single paper submitted by R. Mills.

Intrigued by this I wrote to Jed Rothwell and asked him why is it so. Here is his reply: “This is because Mills has not submitted anything. We are not excluding him. All of the papers in our library come from the authors, except in rare cases such as when the author is deceased. I believe Mills was the first to observe CF in a cell with the K2CO3 electrolyte in ordinary water and with the Ni cathode. I would like his paper, so if anyone is in contact with him, please ask him to send it to us.” <>

P.S. (3/6/06):
Another reader supplied this information: “Dr. Reiko Notoya of Hokkaido University gave presentations on her experiments with light water electrolysis setup with nickel and potassium carbonate giving excess heat and transmutation (this is just off the top of my head). These prsentations were at the ICCF-4, ICCF-5, and ICCF-6. As I understand it, she had an active light water demonstration table set up at the ICCF-4.” Did Dr. Mills attend these conferences? I do not think so. He was probably no longer part of the cold fusion group.

P.S. (11/29/07):
Discussion of hydrinos started again at the CMNS list, as illustrated in unit 338.

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