Here we go again.
BlackLight Power says that it’s created a new form of the hydrogen atom in which the atom’s single electron actually goes below the ground state, into a ground-er (?) state, called hydrino. This would liberate huge amounts of energy using only the hydrogen atoms in water as a fuel source.
In order to go about making energy out of nothing, company founder Dr. Randell Mills has supposedly produced a reactor that is more than 150% efficient, taking in less than 1400 kilojoules and outputting 2100 kJ in 35 seconds. According to Mills, the reactor has run for more than two hours at a time, though the company’s self-identified current technical problem is how to sustain this reaction for longer periods of time.
Dr. Mills doesn’t have a Ph.D. in physics — he graduated from medical school, and then after “taking some [physics] courses” at MIT self-published his theory. Elements of his paper argue that quantum mechanics is wrong, the universe is completely deterministic, and much of the dark matter in the universe is made up of his hydrinos.
This is how science works — we laugh at the crackpot, but we give him a chance to prove himself right. If he’s right, good for him. He’s earned the right to make exorbitant sums of money from his idea, to publish like crazy, and to say “nyah-nyah” to every single one of us. In fact, I’d even love it if he were proven right. I, nor any other physicist, has any vested interest in the current model of the universe. We only seek the truth, and if Mills holds it, great.
Personally, I wouldn’t invest in his company, because the universe has failed to show us these hydrinos in the last 13.7 billion years. Quantum mechanics and special and general relativity have been proven a hundred different ways in the past hundred years. The probability that every single experiment was somehow wrong is very, very low. But it is in that tiny gap of uncertainty that the nutcases dwell.
That hasn’t stopped other investors, who have contributed as much as $60,000,000 to the effort. Apparently these investors haven’t studied much physics.
Good luck, Dr. Mills. I’m not holding my breath. I don’t believe your reactor does anything special. But you certainly have the right to prove us all wrong.