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Blacklight Power and Hydrinos
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.
Categories: Free Energy
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 08, 2005
Comments (28)
http://www.frozenreality.co.uk/comic/bunny/index.php?id=423

Hee...

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'..
Posted by Robin Bobcat  in  Californian Wierdo  on  Tue Nov 08, 2005  at  02:14 AM
After reading the extensive article by Erik Baard, and verifying the identities of those quoted...I can't help but think that Mills is onto something. Frankly, I really hope he is as this would be a quantum shift, sorry the pun, in not only thought but in the way we live our lives. Just from the energy aspect, wouldn't it be nice to not have to use oil to power your car and in the process pollute the air? I would love to be able to see all the stars at night again...an experience only allowed by being high in the mountains today...
Posted by Techie  on  Tue Nov 08, 2005  at  03:07 PM
Uh, Techie, you can't see the stars at night because of city lights or natural clouds, not pollution.
Posted by Joe  on  Tue Nov 08, 2005  at  05:50 PM
Well, without further evidence or a series of experiments trying to produce the same results its hard to know if its just hot air. It would be nice if it was true, but I doubt it. It wouldnt be the first false claim in the history of science.
Posted by Lore  on  Wed Nov 09, 2005  at  04:09 AM
Joe,

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.
Posted by Techie  on  Wed Nov 09, 2005  at  11:16 AM
Sorry for the followup post, but I wanted to add that it wasn't that long ago (50 to 100 years) that we could see the stars from our streetcorners. Ambient light is only a small factor in the overall problems with seeing the sky. There are times, in large metropolitan areas such as LA (first hand experience), that you can't even see the closest planets due to the muck in the air. Since I moved to another state, I find myself asking the following question much less:

"Just why is it that I have to breath in this disgusting brown muck every day????"
Posted by Techie  on  Wed Nov 09, 2005  at  11:21 AM
Uh, Joe, light pollution is more of a factor when there's smog in the air. Speaking from experience of living in Long Beach CA for 20 years. After Santa Ana winds (which blow off all the smog in the LA basin and give us rare blue sky days) you can see a sky full of stars, in spite of all the light pollution. Light pollution is still a factor, but it's made much worse when it has smog and airborne particulate matter to reflect off of. On smoggy nights, the sky in southern CA appears yellowish because of reflected light from ground sources.
Posted by JoeSixpack  on  Wed Nov 09, 2005  at  12:08 PM
Stars:
who cares
I thought this was about
if Mill's was a hoax or not
Posted by jim  in  az.  on  Thu Nov 24, 2005  at  12:45 PM
The only replication I have yet come across is this one
http://earthtech.org/experiments/blp/HiFi/Run5/Run5.html
and it isn't conclusive, yet I have read elsewere that there has been successful replications of his experiment, so...
I'm still searching
Posted by gumball  in  France  on  Wed Dec 28, 2005  at  10:27 PM
another way of thinking..
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..
Posted by Carl Pinkston  on  Mon Jun 23, 2008  at  09:57 PM
Schooling? The blacklightpower website claims Mr. Mills has a bachelors degree from Franklin and Marshall college ( there is such a school) and medical training at Harvard. Nothing in there about physics. You should as little trust a Physics PhD to give you an appendectomy as you should trust a medical doctor to chat about hardcore physics.

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.
Posted by Sven  in  Europe  on  Tue Jul 08, 2008  at  12:16 PM
We could all fart at the same time and light up the world!
Posted by Jim Gargano  in  Illinois  on  Mon Aug 18, 2008  at  08:00 PM
About once in every ten years some sort of "free" energy source turns up, usually involving water.
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.
Posted by anonymous  on  Thu Dec 11, 2008  at  06:31 PM
What about the fact that a utility company in New Mexico just purchased a license to use the technology. Are the people at Estacado energy that stupid, or are they in on the scam with Mills? Someone needs to clue them in.

Here is the article header....
Cranbury, NJ (December 11, 2008)
Posted by john  in  sarsota  on  Mon Dec 15, 2008  at  12:21 AM
Yes, utility compamy, Enron is utility and energy company, so what? maybe they are or want to be party the scam, Nasdaq chairman can use pyramids scam, why a none-heard ut company (maybe they already controlled by their 40 mil shares),

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!
Posted by Johnson  on  Fri Jan 02, 2009  at  04:53 AM
Feinmann, when he commented on `polywater` said, "if it can exist, it would already be present in nature" (or words to that effect). So where are the hydrinos?
Posted by anonymous  on  Fri Jan 16, 2009  at  01:05 AM
The experiments have been extensively replicated, see http://www.blacklightpower.com This .has absolutely nothing to do with cold fusion, it involves reducing the orbit of the electron around hydrogen, thus causing a pulse of UV light, which can be readily converted to electricity. The physics is beyond most scientist's ability to comprehend.
Posted by B Wise  in  Ann Arbor Michigan  on  Wed Mar 04, 2009  at  10:48 PM
20 years and $60M dollars and there is only a _single_ corroboration of the BLP claims coming from a suspect and biased source. Even the craziest ideas usually have more than one academic supporter somewhere in the world. Claiming that "The physics is beyond most scientist's ability to comprehend" makes BLP sound like a mystical pseudo-science. In 20 years, BLP should have been able to commercialize their "invention" or at least show reproducible results that aren't dependent on their proprietary equipment.
Posted by anonymous  in  california  on  Fri May 08, 2009  at  03:31 AM
Many of the comments and questions above are clarified or answered by detailed investigation of the Blacklight website and/or reading the physics book by Mr. Mills that is available free online at his site. For example, anonymous asks "Where are the neutrinos"? Mills argues, and mathmatically calculates, that the expected quantity of neutrinos in each galaxy corresponds exactly with observed but otherwise unexplained "dark matter". Others ask about why the New Mexico utility company is trying the process. I suggest this relates to the physics professor at the University of New Mexico who serves as a consultant to Blacklight and also as a consultant to power companies (probably mostly to power companies in New Mexico). Estacado appears to be a newly formed subsidiary of the parent utility. Whether they are informed or not remains to be seen. I do not claim to know if the process will work, but I have taken time to educate myself on the theory and the support for and against it. The professor at Rowan University appears convinced something is happening that he cannot explain. After some internet searches for "Blacklight Scam" I found a number of other researchers who have partially replicated the results, including one writer who formerly worked for the DOE where he felt he should at least test the theory to disprove it rather than rejecting it outright. He said his DOE group found unexplained high energy production but was told by their boss to stop the tests because they would be laughed at and could lose their jobs.

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.
Posted by Richard  in  Dallas  on  Mon Jun 01, 2009  at  01:38 PM
If scientists spent one tenth the amount of time actually investigating Mills claims that they do in summarily dismissing and ridiculing him, we'd probably actually have a nice little wiki entry pointing to ACTUAL research, which either proves or disproves his theory.

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.
Posted by peter  on  Tue Jun 23, 2009  at  10:23 AM
Well, this week BLP found that they could make the news again. Please see this link (noted earlier in this thread):

http://earthtech.org/experiments/blp/HiFi/Run5/Run5.html

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).
Posted by sterling doug  in  VA  on  Sat Aug 15, 2009  at  04:51 AM
There have been plenty of confirmed findings...

http://hydrino.org/lab-reports.html

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).
Posted by Hunter  in  Canada  on  Mon Oct 19, 2009  at  02:26 PM
Seems like the people at Rowan University have verified some of the predictions of Mills' theory as far as the energy production and hydrinos goes. They measure about 100:1 output over what you could expect from standard chemistry or thermodynamics. Take the time to read his three volume ebook at the BLP website. My hunch is that this is not crank science, it's a major paradigm shift in its early stages. They tend to look similar until the new paradigm has received appropriate serious scrutiny (as opposed to irrational dismissal), or worst case enough skeptics suffering from acute cognitive dissonance die off leaving the field to newer fresher thinkers. In light of the Hubbert curve I suggest we chose door #1. Be there or be square.
Posted by Curious thinker  in  USA  on  Fri Jan 08, 2010  at  09:17 PM
"That's the difference between ACTUAL SCIENCE and silly talking heads supporting the established line."
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.
Posted by scott  on  Thu Jun 03, 2010  at  05:07 PM
BLP keeps issuing press releases about obscure utilities buying "rights to generate up to XXX MW" of BLP power.

The world breathlessly awaits the press release announcing that Utility Z has installed a reactor and has started generating power.
Posted by Brad Aisa  in  Colorado, USA  on  Sat Jul 10, 2010  at  08:31 PM
I am a PhD physicist. I came across blacklight about 10 years ago. I read the material I found but I didn't make a research project out of it. I am very very skeptical. The reason being is that in order for hydrogen's one electron to reside at a level significantly below the 1s ground state quantum mechanics would need to be wrong, whereas quantum mechanics has otherwise so far been found to be extremely successful. However trying to prove that the theory is wrong is likely to be a fool's errand. This is because it is logically impossible to prove a negative. The proponent can always say that such proofs are wrong because the prover did not consider this or that, where the "this" or "that' is some new piece of evidence, or a condition that wasn't taken into account. The onus is on blacklight to demonstrate the claims with a working generator. That has not happened.
Posted by David  in  New Jersey  on  Fri Aug 13, 2010  at  07:26 PM
Even if Mill's hydrino theory is stark raving wrong, the phenomenology he found is clearly there (Rowan), and he deserves credit for pursuing that. However there are those who think the energy release has more to do with the Casimir effect and relativity than hydrogen ground states below 1. See http://www.byzipp.com/hydrino/ or http://froarty.scienceblog.com/category/blog-entry/ for more info.
Posted by Curious thinker  in  USA  on  Fri Aug 13, 2010  at  08:24 PM
David in New Jersey posted on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 02:26 PM "Even if Mill's hydrino theory is stark raving wrong, the phenomenology he found is clearly there (Rowan), and he deserves credit for pursuing that"
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.
Posted by francis xavier roarty  in  lumberton NJ  on  Mon Aug 23, 2010  at  03:47 PM
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