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New Discovery Disproves Quantum Theory?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the physics-riots-for-1000-alex dept.

933

An anonymous reader writes to tell us the Guardian is running a story that has quite a few physicists up in arms. From the article: "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 only problem is Mills' theory is supposed to be impossible when using current rules of quantum mechanics.

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As Einstein once said... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13965492)

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

HELLO! (-1, Offtopic)

k512-arch (796444) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965493)

I think energy is COOL!

Like They Say... (4, Interesting)

stuffman64 (208233) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965499)

Like they say: "I'll believe it when I see it."

Still, it would be nice to have some major shakeup in physics... there really haven't been any in my lifetime.

Re:Like They Say... (2, Insightful)

Buran (150348) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965521)

I noticed they claim to have peer-reviewed journal articles, but don't cite any of them. I'd like to be able to verify that they exist before I believe any of this crap ...

Re:Like They Say... (5, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965548)

effort. [blacklightpower.com]

None of it matters. If they release a product and it works then people have to take them seriously. Sure, they'll probably come up with an explaination that is completely different and fits with current physics theory, but whatever floats your boat. What matters is the technology.

Re:Like They Say... (5, Insightful)

Buran (150348) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965662)

Which they've reportedly had "just around the corner" (it's in one of the other comments in this story) for a while, hence the skepticism I showed. Sure, if they have something that works it will have to be explained by new theories, but always being "a few months away" or whatever doesn't really add to their credibility.

Re:Like They Say... (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965744)

Yeah true. But that just means their a company being run by engineers and have poor ability to bring things to market. What I would be asking is where are these physicists that have apparently reviewed and reproduced the experiments?

Re:Like They Say... (5, Informative)

Rei (128717) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965625)

From the wikipedia article on the hydrino [wikipedia.org] :

In May 2005 Andreas Rathke of the European Space Agency has written an evaluation [1] to appear in New Journal of Physics. He concludes:

We found that CQM is inconsistent and has several serious deficiencies. Amongst these are the failure to reproduce the energy levels of the excited states of the hydrogen atom, and the absence of Lorentz invariance [wikipedia.org] . Most importantly, we found that CQM does not predict the existence of hydrino states!

Robert L Park, a professor of physics, former chair of the Department of Physics at the University of Maryland, and professional skeptic writes in his "what's new" [2] web page

Mills has written a 1000 page tome, entitled,"The Grand Unified Theory of Classical Quantum Mechanics," that takes the reader all the way from hydrinos to antigravity (WN 9 May 97). Fortunately, Aaron Barth...has taken upon himself to look through it, checking for accuracy. Barth is a post doctoral researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Institute, and holds a PhD in Astronomy, 1998, from UC, Berkeley. What he found initially were mathematical blunders and unjustified assumptions.

Douglas Osheroff, Nobel Prize winner and professor of physics at Stanford University, has said that [3]

[Mills] may be creating compounds with unusual properties. This is obviously a rather clever guy, and he may be onto something, but he seems to think it's more fundamental than it really is.

Osheroff claims that hydrinos are a "crackpot idea."

James Viccaro editor of the Journal of Applied Physics defends the decision to publish Mills' paper.[4]

His paper underwent formal review and was accepted for publication based on review. The findings are quite interesting and the reviewers found them relevant to the field, ... I'm actually kind of interested to see what happens now, when the news hits.

Michael Jacox, assistant director of Texas A&M's Commercial Space Center for Engineering and a nuclear engineer, quoted by Erik Baard in the Village Voice [5]:

Researchers at other well-known government labs also say they are afraid to speak on record about their interest in Mills's work. One said that he plans to visit BlackLight Power on his vacation time. Jacox says his team found in the materials 'an anomaly that we could not explain with conventional theory but that we could explain with Randy Mills's theory. That does not necessarily validate the Mills theory, but gosh. '

Re:Like They Say... (1)

doxology (636469) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965648)

On a sidenote, I'm taking a class from Osheroff next quarter. =D

Re:Like They Say... (0, Redundant)

Buran (150348) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965754)

Thanks! Good info.

Re:Like They Say... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13965567)

Clean, unlimited energy would be nice and all, but what this REALLY means is I'll be able to bring old notes and exams back to my professors, shout "No, YOU'RE wrong!" and laugh maniacally.

riiiiiiight. (1)

kraemer (637938) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965504)

If its not baloney the Saudis' will have it all bought up in about 10 minutes from now....

Re:riiiiiiight. (2, Informative)

tzot (834456) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965558)

No, it's not the Saudis that will buy the technology, most probably it will be the Seven Sisters [wikipedia.org] ... The Saudi's are only the "producers" of oil (think artists), the Seven Sisters are the distributors (think RIAA) that take real advantage of the product...

Pascal's Wager (1)

Uukrul (835197) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965580)

If its not baloney the Saudis' will have it all bought up in about 10 minutes from now....
That's like Pascal's Wager [wikipedia.org] .
Buy it:
* You may buy it and it works, in which case you get a new power source: your gain is infinite.
* You may buy it and it don't works, in which case you has a very little loss and therefore negligible.
Don't buy it:
* You may not buy it and it works, in which case you loss your business: your loss is infinite.
* You may not buy it and it works, in which case you don't loss nor gain nothing.

So if they aren't very good on statistics, they are going to buy it.

Re:Pascal's Wager (2, Funny)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965671)

That excludes the possibility of you buying it and it explodes on you...that would be a big loss.

Re:Pascal's Wager (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13965687)

Giggle.

Re:Pascal's Wager (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13965723)

There is a fundamental flaw in Pascal's Wager. Every man and his dog can claim that they have a technology with infinite gain. Then the Saudis will have to buy all those technologies.

To really stretch the analogy, what if each man will only sell them his technology if the Saudis declare all others as hogwash and buy only from that man?

standard (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13965505)

i for one welcome our blacklight overlor... oooo colors!

Company web site (4, Informative)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965537)

papers, etc at BlackLight Power [blacklightpower.com]

Of Interest is the paper

"The Grand Unified Theory of Classical Quantum Mechanics Workshop" presented at the University of Eindhoven, Netherlands, February 28, 2005 [blacklightpower.com] (PDF Warning)

I think the title just about says it all

If he's built a prototype, it's more than a theory (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965506)

If he's really built a prototype, that is.

Wouldn't that be required? (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965731)

Quantum Theory has many, Many, MANY experiments showing that it correctly predicts the results.

Anyone can come up with any new "theory" they want. And they may be able to get it published.

But without the first experiment showing that they can do something that quantum theory cannot predict ... they have nothing.

Re:If he's built a prototype, it's more than a the (1)

Bazzalisk (869812) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965747)

Nope, it's still a theory, just one with some eveidence supporting it (and like all theories, it's wrong).

If it had no evidence for it at all it wouldn't be a theory - it'd be a hypothesis - possibly even a conjecture (and it's the fact that so many people say theory when they mean hypothesis that gives so many of these pseudoscistists the apparant credibility they get).

Re:If he's built a prototype, it's more than a the (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13965759)

Nope. If he has a prototype it is a theory. Else it is just a hypothesis. Well, not exactly, but that something is a theory does not mean that it is not a fact. A theory is an explanatory system, a way to describe what is.

In fact, a well supported theory can be said to me MORE reliable than a fact, if that is possible. A fact is a single data point. A theory is a system of many data points supporting each other.

"If it seems too good to be true..." (5, Informative)

MrLizard (95131) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965509)

"...it almost certainly is."

IIRC, this "company" has shown up on /. before, and it has always been "a few months away" from unveiling its secret power source.

This seems to be the week for bad slashdot science reporting (and falling for new 'free energy' con jobs).

Re:"If it seems too good to be true..." (5, Informative)

romka1 (891990) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965551)

Old Story [slashdot.org] They had a ground braking discovery in December of 1999 :) and then they got 25 million for it as the story claims

Re:"If it seems too good to be true..." (5, Informative)

MadEE (784327) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965592)

Heck Reuters did an article on him back in 1997: http://www.keelynet.com/energy/hydmills.htm [keelynet.com]

Yawn. Another crackpot needs funding. (4, Insightful)

Dr. Zowie (109983) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965510)

These guys (energy crackpots) are always around on the sidelines; they pop up every once in a while when they need a new sucker^H^H^H^H^H^Hventure capitalist to invest. The fractional-quantum-number chestnut has been around since at least the USENET days; I remember folks trying to use fractional quantum numbers to justify cold fusion among other things.

Hot fusion is always 50 years away; tabletop fusion is always 4 years away. Nothing to see here, move along.

Re:Yawn. Another crackpot needs funding. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13965609)

While I agree "blacklight power" is complete crap, I note that tabletop fusion is commercially available RIGHT NOW - fusors are on sale... as neutron sources. They're not for power, but for handy neturon beams.

Re:Yawn. Another crackpot needs funding. (1)

lotus_out_law (878076) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965613)

Maybe.
But that is *no* reason to ignore him completely.

The article was quite comprehensive and looks like quite a bit of big guys are behind it.
I do agree that a distinguished list also stood behind ramar [padrak.com] too, and which was disproved completely, but I believe we should keep an open mind towards these.

Maybe his deduction is wrong, but if his invention _works_, it means something else (currently unknown) is there.
maybe..

Re:Yawn. Another crackpot needs funding. (4, Funny)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965688)

Come now, hot fusion used to always be 40 years away. Now, finally, it will always be 35 years away.

That is progress.

Wikipedia article on this guy (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13965514)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrino_theory [wikipedia.org]

Article was probably submitted by somebody who stood to gain from the publicity. You Have Been Used (YHBU).

But hay, let's keep running pseudoscience stories on slashdot!

Re:Wikipedia article on this guy (5, Funny)

dirtsurfer (595452) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965719)

This article has recently been linked from Slashdot. Please keep an eye on the page history for errors or vandalism.

Wow. Apparently our reputation precedes us.

Re:Wikipedia article on this guy (1)

David Horn (772985) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965753)

...which effectively proves that it's a con. From the Wikipedia article:

"When captured by a proton to form a hydrogen atom, this two-dimensional electron deforms into a sphere, called the orbitsphere, composed of a spherically-uniform, continuous distribution of current loops and achieves a stable radius through force balance between the coulombic field of the proton and the outward centrifugal force of the moving current on the surface of the sphere."

Centrifugal force? Every high school student knows that it doesn't exist. Another crackpot theory accidentally advertised- I'm sorry, published, on Slashdot.

Theories are meant to be disproven. (1, Insightful)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965518)

Theories are just that: theories. It's perfectly fine to disprove them. In fact, that's what science is all about.

If the current theories are shown to be inadequate or flat out wrong, then that's just how it is. It'll be up to scientists to create new, better theories that take into account this development.

Re:Theories are meant to be disproven. (1)

MrLizard (95131) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965561)

True, but part of disproving a theory includes a better theory which explains all observed phenomenon. Quantum theory has been used in real experiments -- quantum computing, for example. A new theory has to explain why phenomenon predicted by the OLD theory work -- and also explain new phenomenon which the old theory can't.

Re:Theories are meant to be disproven. (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965583)

New theories would come eventually. It would be premature to come up with new theories before spending much time investigating this device, which may potentially be one of the most innovative creations in decades (if not centuries).

It's not often that a technology is discovered that could completely throw aside years of scientific theory.

Re:Theories are meant to be disproven. (5, Insightful)

servognome (738846) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965614)

True, but part of disproving a theory includes a better theory which explains all observed phenomenon

No it doesn't. All it takes is a verified observation to disprove a theory. There are disproven theories in science that can remain for years without something better taking its place.

Re:Theories are meant to be disproven. (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965757)

If a million crackpots come up with new technologies to attract venture capital for a million years, one of them might actually stumble across an actual new technology. Maybe todays that day?

Looks like it uses hydrinos (4, Interesting)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965529)

Covered here [slashdot.org] .

Something that NASA is going to get involved with, per TFA(s). Basically, if you can get the electron to "orbit" the proton nucleus of a hydrogen atom at a lower level, you've produced a lot of energy.

Re:Looks like it uses hydrinos (2, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965658)

And then? 5000 years from now these atoms collapse; the electrons' charge cancel out against the protons', and you release so much energy that the earth gets cooked?

I'd want to have at least some idea what we're doing before we go messing with atoms - we all know how nuclear fission was touted to be the energy source of the future and what became of that.

This was on slashot back in 1999 (2, Funny)

backslashdot (95548) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965691)

He's always "months away" from revealing this invention. Can't he come up with a newer scam?? Even what he's found is real, I don't like his secretive methods.

Link to the 1999 story..

http://science.slashdot.org/science/99/12/22/10924 5.shtml?tid=14 [slashdot.org]

Look the fact is, it's very easy to come up with a non disprovable theory in physics. If I say that "I have just found that Eintein's theory is wrong .. it is possible to create a wormhole by boiling a carrot in cat piss and one other secret ingredient ...without allowing others to reproduce the experiment how can this be disproved?" Although, the only way I could be right is if Einstein is wrong .. it's not a problem because I have just stated that "Einstein is wrong" .. You can call me a kook .. but the only way to disprove me is to provide 100% proof that Einstein is correct everywhere. Which is quite frankly impossible because physics is not like mathematics where axiomatic proofs are possible.

Well Ok, One story is fine ..and for all we know he might actually be telling the truth or at least believing it ..and quite frankly I hate censorship and support freedom of speech .. but this guy keeps reappearing .. What about the other kooks ..no equal time? At least make it comedic and original not repetition! If I was an electric universe theorist or a cold fusion proponent I'd be getting pretty pissed off ..

Disproves? (5, Funny)

rxmd (205533) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965533)

New Discovery Disproves Quantum Theory
No way, it's just Intelligent Redesign.

What kind of medic? (4, Funny)

MouseR (3264) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965536)

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

So... was he a gynecologist?

All that he needs now... (2, Insightful)

DieByWire (744043) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965541)

And he claims to be just months away from unveiling his creation.

Let me guess, that and a few million dollars away. You can get in on the ground floor.

Press (1)

JohnCub (56178) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965542)

I'm afraid to even get excited over this. I'd love to see a major shake up in the physics world. It would mean what we know is wrong and other paths need persued. But after reading the article I'm thinking this may be science along the lines of those fuel saving vacuum tornado devices rather than actual science.

As a side effect this may more solidly prove the current theory or have more people (far smarter than I) look into alternatives that may lead to actual discoveries. I guess with science no press is really bad press.

Target date (5, Funny)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965552)

And he claims to be just months away from unveiling his creation.
This is your advance invitation. Be sure to join them on the first day of April in 2006.

My first thought when reading this (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13965554)

"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."

Wow, sounds a lot like religion.

Higly unlikely (1)

Muhammar (659468) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965557)

from all we know their "technical" hydrino explanation is a bunch of chimpanzee. If there realy is such a huge measurable effect, than it is realy something tremendous. That means something realy important that we we have not known about. But I think it is exceptionaly super highly unlikely - experimentalists have been looking for deviations from QED down to 15 decimal places for many years and found absolutely none.

"The Nature is out there and she will come out the way she is." RPF

what it is (1)

Douglas Simmons (628988) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965559)

Despite my badassly low UID, I have no idea what quantum theory is and I'm wagering that a few of you don't either. Here's the Wiki link, [wikipedia.org] but don't bother reading it unless you're a lot smarter than me because I still don't get it.

Re:what it is (1)

jrockway (229604) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965591)

A UID of 1000 is "badassly low". 628988 is "insanely high". 200,000 or so is moderately respectable, but not really.

Just thought you might want to know.

Re:what it is (1)

Jace of Fuse! (72042) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965668)

Now now, you know it's in poor taste to pick on someone for having such a high UID.

Re:what it is (1)

ForceOfWill (79529) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965683)

Wow, I'm between "badass" and "moderately respectable". I've never felt so accepted in all my life. These people look deep within my soul and assign me a number based on the order in which I joined. *sniffle*

Re:what it is (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965616)

When did mid-6-digits become "badassly low"? ;-D

Re:what it is (1)

Mad Marlin (96929) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965704)

He claims that he has discovered a new humor technology which is a combination of irony technology and sarcasm technology, so-called "sarcastic irony;" unfortunately, this new form of humor may disprove the theories of quantum mechanics, so I think it is all a cheap trick to get VC (venture comedian) money.

Re:what it is (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965724)

I always find it humorous when someone gets one joke but fails to get one made in response to it. You're the guy who laughs at "Why did the chicken cross the road?" but not "To get to the other side."

Re:what it is (1)

Ithika (703697) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965706)

I'm guessing he accidentally posted from his trolling account ;)

Re:what it is (2, Funny)

Scutter (18425) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965647)

Despite my badassly low UID

Wow, you *are* a badass! wait a minute...

Re:what it is (2, Funny)

szo (7842) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965709)

My thoughts exactly

Re:what it is The Real Goods... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13965665)

Quantum theory simply states that the closer you come to knowing what quantum theory is, the less the probability that you actually do.

Low ID? (1)

el_munkie (145510) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965734)

Dude the 600 thousands are recent additions. This, of course, will prompt one of those two- or three- digit geezers to chime in, but I don't consider my ID to be all that low, either.

To make this post somewhat topical, I'm actually in a Quantum Mechanics class this semester and it doesn't make a lot of sense to me either, but if this guy is claiming to be able to get an electron into a fractional orbit, it would fly in the face of QM as we now understand it. Basically, the theory states that bound electrons can only exist in discrete energy states. An electron in the lowest orbit in a hydrogen atom has exactly the same amount of energy as every other electron in the lowest orbit of every other hydrogen atom. It can't be decreased, and if it is increased it must be increased by an amount that is exactly equal to an integer multiple of n in (n^2*h-bar^2*pi^2)/(2*m*L^2) where n is the level, m is electron mass, and L is the width of the atom. It would of course be against the nature of science to say that it is impossible that this theory could be wrong, but there is strong experimental evidence to suggest that it is correct.

Would the revoution be allowed to happen? (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965563)

Indeed, suppose for a moment that this development does contradict various theories. If true science is being practised, then that would require the theories found to be faulty to either be reworked, or rejected.

But science is never that clear-cut. Politics always gets in the way. Many people have invested many years and much effort into such (potentially faulty) theories, and they won't give up easily.

We may even see a new schism form, but within the scientific community. It wouldn't be a matter of just differing theories. It could potentially be another evolution/intelligent design situation.

Indeed, we may only get a partial scientific revolution. There will be those who admit their theories were wrong, and then those who do not. Things could get very interesting, especially when large amounts of funding are involved.

Re:Would the revoution be allowed to happen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13965705)

We may even see a new schism form, but within the scientific community. It wouldn't be a matter of just differing theories. It could potentially be another evolution/intelligent design situation.
Except that there's no real schism over evolution in the scientific community. A handful of people with narrow readings of the Bible, most of whom, when they have a PhD at all, possess it in a nonbiological field, do not constitute a "schism", no more than a bunch of Flat Earthers represent a "schism" in the geology community.

Abstract (4, Informative)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965570)

Here is the abstract of his original paper submitted to Physics Essays in 2003. This was copied from the full text PDF [epnet.com] , so there may be some typos.

"Despite its successes, quantum mechanics (QM) has remained mysterious to all who have encountered it. Starting with Bohr and progressing into the present, the departure from intuitive, physical reality has widened. The connection between QM and reality is more than just a "philosophical" issue. It reveals that QM is not a correct or complete theory of the physical world and that inescapable internal inconsistencies and incongruities arise when attempts are made to treat it as physical as opposed to a purely mathematical "tool." Some of these issues are discussed in a review by F. Laloë [Am. J. Phys. 69, 655 (2001)]. In an attempt to provide some physical insight into atomic problems and starting with the same essential physics as Bohr of e- moving in the Coulombic field of the proton and the wave equation as modified by Schrödinger, a classical approach is explored that yields a remarkably accurate model and provides insight into physics on the atomic level. The proverbial view, deeply seated in the wave-particle duality notion, that there is no large-scale physical counterpart to the nature of the electron may not be correct. Physical laws and intuition may be restored when dealing with the wave equation and quantum-mechanical problems. Specifically, a theory of classical quantum mechanics (CQM) is derived from first principles that successfully applies physical laws on all scales. Rather than using the postulated Schrödinger boundary condition "Psi -> 0 as r -> infinity," which leads to a purely mathematical model of the electron, the constraint is based on experimental observation. Using Maxwell's equations, the classical wave equation is solved with the constraint that the bound (n = 1)-state electron cannot radiate energy. By further application of Maxwell's equations to electromagnetic and gravitational fields at particle production, the Schwarzschild metric is derived from the classical wave equation, which modifies general relativity to include conservation of space-time in addition to momentum and matter/energy. The result gives a natural relationship among Maxwell's equations, special relativity, and general relativity. CQM holds over a scale of space-time of 85 orders of magnitude -- it correctly predicts the nature of the universe from the scale of the quarks to that of the cosmos. A review is given by G. Landvogt [Internat. J. Hydrogen Energy 28, 1155 (2003)]."

but the real question is (2, Funny)

jjeffries (17675) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965572)

I've already got an old Fleishman Electronics Fusion@Home Jr. (TM) power plant... non-polluting and nearly cost-free, just have to remember to top off the reservoir now and then... so what does this new thingie do better?

Re:but the real question is (1)

kryten_nl (863119) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965685)

...so what does this new thingie do better?

Now, you can slide to another dimension, at the same time as someone is using the teleporter or the stargate.

Let me guess... (3, Funny)

Private Taco (808864) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965577)

It's a dead/alive hampster in a box, on a little wheel attached to a little generator...

Re:Let me guess... (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965717)

But it's not really dead or alive, until you observe it... I think that's it.

Orbits aren't immutable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13965585)

An electron orbiting a proton will have a preferred orbit. That orbit can be changed. In the presence of electric or magnetic fields, orbits change and you get different spectra. The fact that you have an electon in a non-standard orbit does not change quantum theory. Now, if the electron's orbit slowly decayed until the electron collided with the proton; that would prove that quantum theory is wrong.

"Cautious optimism" (5, Interesting)

quanminoan (812306) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965586)

I've actually been following Dr. Mills for some time now. This theory of his, as well as his claims of energy production have been around for quite some time. Slashdot even covered it before:

http://science.slashdot.org/science/02/12/07/22522 59.shtml?tid=126 [slashdot.org] http://science.slashdot.org/science/02/06/07/21592 10.shtml?tid=134 [slashdot.org]

What makes this case interesting is the length of time this "hoax" has persisted. The funding means nothing; a company with a large budget doesn't care to gamble with the amounts claimed. The validations of his energy claims are the most significant. Many laboratories have found anomalies in reproduced experiments (and some have failed). His theory does not have nearly as much support - nearly every qualified physicist I have given his book to has politely said he's wrong. His derivations just don't make sense.

Some of the more open minded physicists then said that doesn't mean he's wrong. There may be energy produced that current physics can account for, and at worst QM would need amends. This speculation is really irrelevant if he is claiming a product- all we have to do is wait a while and see how it pans out.

Company website: http://www.blacklightpower.com/ [blacklightpower.com] (download theory book for free)

What If... (1)

LEX LETHAL (859141) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965587)

Topping the headlines...

An upstart scientist imploded today when he activated his kitchen microwave oven. His appliance was powered by a new kind of energy that he had developed in his basement. In addition to warping the fabric of spacetime, he also burned his English muffin.

So what you're saying is...... (-1, Troll)

sysiphus474 (926780) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965589)

That all we know about quantum physics is wrong?
So the teaching, grants, studies, relativity theories, and other "scientific" methods that my tax money is funding has been a waste?
Tell me again why teaching Creationism in schools is not "scientific"? Hell, it stands on more known TANGIBLE historical data than quantum physics (or evolution, for that matter).

Re:So what you're saying is...... (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965646)

Is it all wrong? Most likely not. After all, we don't even know much about this supposed device at this point. We can't go forth and deem theories incorrect at this time.

Was the past funding a waste of money? Very doubtful. We have fiber optics thanks to such research, for instance.

Creationism is not scientific because it does not involve the scientific methodology. Like you said, it is based on historical claims rather than theory, experiment and observation. As such it should not be taught in a science class, much like science does not belong in a religion class. They are two separate beasts, and it is best not to confuse them.

Re:So what you're saying is...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13965653)

Get lost, motherfucker!

Re:So what you're saying is...... (2, Insightful)

Private Taco (808864) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965664)

No, what I'M SAYING is that one barking looney seems to bring hundreds of others out of the woodwork.

Re:So what you're saying is...... (1)

Dante Shamest (813622) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965686)

Tell me again why teaching Creationism in schools is not "scientific"? Hell, it stands on more known TANGIBLE historical data than quantum physics (or evolution, for that matter).

I'm not sure what tangible historical data you're referring to, but if it's anything like the historical data for Atlantis it should probably belong in Mythology.

Consider the source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13965597)

If the only article you find is on the Guardian, maaaybe its not such a reliable scientific story.

What would Homer say? (4, Funny)

1199200 (922424) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965602)


"In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!"

--
Superb hosting [tinyurl.com] 2400MB Storage, 120GB bandwidth, ssh, $7.95

Mistake in post (1)

paradaxiom (248955) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965606)

Note the Slashdot -- I noticed a mistake: Instead of a little battery there
should be a little foot next to this post.

Sounds like (1)

Stephan Seidt (803125) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965624)

1. Hydrogen fuel
2. ???????
3. Profit!

Bear that joke ;-) I like the idea. Would be great if it works.

Sensationalist Headline (1)

Elrac (314784) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965626)

Quantum theory has many, many successful experiments, even applications backing it up. This Mills guy has still not a single successful experiment behind him.

As another Slashdotter pointed out (with simple elegance) in this thread [slashdot.org] , the "normal" state of hydrogen we all know and love is apparently the lowest-energy state. Bringing the electrons in closer to the nucleus would consume energy, not produce it, according to conventional wisdom.

Maybe this would-be physicist is smarter than all the quantum physicists, including Einstein, who came before him. But my money and Occam's [wikipedia.org] is on the Establishment in this case.

THIS IS FUCKING EMBARRASSING. (5, Insightful)

Pendersempai (625351) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965637)

Can we PLEASE have the editors do at least a cursory background check on these "scientists" before posting their pyramid scheme crackpot press releases? We've had five or more stories in the past TWO DAYS about how the rules of science were about to be rewritten by someone who can pull heat out of nothing for free, or extend wifi coverage for TEN MILLION MILES on a watch battery, or fly to the moon with a tablespoon of vinegar, or extend a battery's shelf life by nine million percent by putting a sticker on it.

Seriously, WTF? It's embarrassing. This place reads like the fucking National Enquirer when it comes to science. There are legitimate breakthroughs happening all the time in science; why do we have to cover these retard con men? Is it that pseudoscience is more FLASHY AND EXCITING than real science, or is it that our editors are too fucking brain dead to tell the difference?

Obligatory Simpsons' Quote (1)

Nethergoat (597008) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965640)

In this lab we obey the laws of quantum mechanics!

He's a quack. (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965645)

But even if he wasn't, he's worried about the piddly energy released by the process? H with electrons orbiting closer would make fusion that much easier. Hydrino-ated deuterium might make all the difference in quite a few schemes. If he had a prototype that was really working, he'd be on the news demonstrating it right now, millions of housewives would be pissed as the soap operas were pre-empted.

The real thing would be raking in literally billions, right now. It wouldn't be fucking around with $5 million this, and $19 million that. That sounds like a nice haul for a con artist, but someone who just obseleted the oil industry shouldn't be worried about anything less than 3/4 of a trillion...

Re:He's a quack. (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965698)

H with electrons orbiting closer would make fusion that much easier.

I had that exact thought yesterday. But I'm still not sure I believe it.

'Peer review' isn't always sufficient. (2, Informative)

Viadd (173388) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965650)

The 'Physics Essays' journal that is mentioned in TFA has this to say about its peer review process:

Articles submitted for publication will be reviewed by scientific peers. Realizing the interchangeable roles of authors and reviewers, the positive aspect of the reviewing process will be retained by providing the authors with the reviewers' comments. Authors should judge which part of the reviewers' suggestions are appropriate to improve the quality of his or her paper. The editor, who is responsible for the Journal, will allow a large degree of freedom to the authors in this process.


So basically the article is reviewed by peers, but if the review says 'this is garbage from beginning to end', it still can get published.

The New New Science (4, Insightful)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965654)

Yesterday some inventor had plans for H-B fusion in a "coffee can" now energy from water. What is next? Time travel, UFO's and Zombies?

This guy if full of shit. Just because he graduated from MIT, deosn't mean he is that good. Remember the Unabomber graduated from Harvard, for all that's worth.

To all those "But, wait what if it is true! He is the other other Einstein" comments I would just have to say that this guy doesn't know quantum mechanics. He is a medic and an electrical engineer, what the fuck is he doing publishing papers on "The Fallacy of Feynman's Argument on the Stability of the Hydrogen Atom According to Quantum Mechanics". He has two or three equations and the rest is bullshit in "essay format". Check out his website [blacklightpower.com] . He might as well be selling tin foil hats to prevent damage from space death rays.

Re:The New New Science (5, Funny)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965711)

Remember the Unabomber graduated from Harvard, for all that's worth.

His devices worked, didn't they?

-jcr

Obligatory Simpsons Reference (1)

imbaczek (690596) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965655)

In this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics!

Quantum Theory disproved...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13965661)

It would seem Schrödinger's cat... is dead.

Pseudoscience...? (1)

distantbody (852269) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965679)

I wont be too hastey to discredit anyone, but often with this type of scenario, where many reputable scientist outright dismiss a given claim, it is usually because the person/s claiming given thing are desperately trying to get funding for themselves or their insitution by pandering often farcical claims to gullable bush-like administrations or investors, at the ultimate personal sacrifice of credibility. Examples may include "hafnium power", "cold fusion" and

Of course, the argument will inevitable become one of "great new ideas are always scorned, and ours is no different", but the chances of that being true is very low indeed.

I am so frustrated, i just forgot my third and best example of pseudoscience. If i remember it, i will re-post, otherwise, what are some other notable examples of pseudoscience you know? (i know a few, i just cant remember)

Let's see a demo (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965682)

Arguing is pointless. If the good Doctor can provide a device, it's simple enough to prove whether it's generating or consuming power.

-jcr

this left wing propaganda... (1)

stoolmaster (688834) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965684)

...paper has never been know before to publish fact.

yeah... ...right (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965696)

RE:[It seems too good to be true: a new source of near-limitless power that costs virtually nothing, uses tiny amounts of water as its fuel and produces next to no waste. If that does not sound radical enough, how about this: the principle behind the source turns modern physics on its head.]

thats all i needed to read to not take it serously, until they have an actual product to put on the market that proves beyond any doubt...

enough said...

Blackligt power last go-round was 1999 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13965710)

Blacklight power was last reported on in 1999 time frame where there was activity in the US Patent Office.

If any of the people reading this are going to report on Blackight Power, ask Mills:

1) Details on the battery claims on the old web site.
2) How these Hydrenos work thermodynamically. (going from a lower to higher energy state is going to need heat.)

The claims last time around were 'going to have massive funding soon' and 'in 7 years we'll have a battery product' - and that was 1999.

Good luck on getting an answer.

Thanks.... good to bring the old back to life (1)

theendlessnow (516149) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965725)

Last time I heard about this was 6 years ago. It was funny then as well.

Who needs the wayback machine when you've got /.?

No waste? (2, Insightful)

Cramer (69040) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965750)

What's this about "no waste"? If he's creating what he's claiming, "hydrinos", then he's partially collapsing a hydrogen atom. Once it's collapsed and thus energy released, it'll take energy to get it back to normal.

The hydrino's being created from the process(es) ARE the waste product. What the hell are you going to do with collapsed hydrogen atoms? They won't behave like normal hyrdogen; compounds created from them won't behave in expected ways. What's he going to do, cycle hydrino's through the "reactor" until they've collapsed into a neutron? Then what's to come of these free floating neutrons? (neutrons don't stay neutrons when they're all alone.)

For my money, I think this guy slept through every physics class he's ever taken.

I see a trend here (1)

Yartrebo (690383) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965751)

This isn't the first time I hear about some physics-defying whiz-bang solution to all our problems. They all have a few things in common.

  - They're never peer reviewed, or if they are (like Cold Fusion), the peer review process finds out that an experimental error (or flat out lying) caused the purported violation of the laws of physics.
  - They're promoted by businessmen/entrepreneur types, who are out for a lot of publicity and money.
  - Aside from the ones that are peer reviewed, they inner workings are kept secret. To properly assess a discovery, it is necessary to replicate the machine or experiment.

Which all point to the conclusion that this person is either a money/publicity whore, or delusional. I think it's the former.

And speaking as a scientist, his idea has about a snowball chance's in hell of being true. Electrons existing in discrete energy levels is required to avoid having all atoms self-annihilate and explains why the orbiting electrons don't spontaneously emit radiation in their ground state. Entropy being shown false is more plausible than electrons being able to go under the ground state, and plenty of people have tried (and failed) to disprove that entropy never decreases.

zerg (1)

Lord Omlette (124579) | more than 8 years ago | (#13965756)

Friend: pika
JLP:    hey man, what's up?
Friend: wwwblacklightpower.com
Friend: grr
Friend: www.blacklightpower.com
Friend: These guys claim to have the unified field e]theory
JLP:    submit it to slashdot, quick!
Friend: Like any science, it's under review.
JLP:    slashdot is the best peer review around
JLP:    or technocrat
JLP:    one of them
Friend: It's been in seveal journals lately, but the company anonunce this first in 1999
JLP:    sounds fishy
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