In 2009, Rowan University released a paper claiming to replicate Blacklight Power's results on energy generation using hydrino states of the hydrogen atom. The paper (link now dead) appears to describe the procedure in every detail as far as my untrained eye can tell.

The press release 11/29/10 states:

Cranbury, NJ (November 29, 2010)—BlackLight Power, Inc. (BLP) today announced that CIHT (Catalyst-Induced-Hydrino-Transition) technology has been independently confirmed by Dr. K.V. Ramanujachary, Rowan University Meritorious Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry.[...]

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    $\begingroup$ I had a look at the Blacklight Power work a while back and it seemed like crackpottery to me. So in the absence of any recommendations to the contrary I would be inclined to treat this work along similar lines. Of course, I am guilty of implying guilt-by-association! But one only has finite resources so such extrapolation becomes necessary sometimes. $\endgroup$ – user346 Dec 30 '10 at 23:55
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    $\begingroup$ scottaaronson.com/writings/doofusino.html $\endgroup$ – Matt Reece Dec 31 '10 at 0:18
  • $\begingroup$ @Matt, that was hilarious. My favorite part might be this one: "Doofusino theory augments this bold vision by postulating that the universe is forever oscillating between crunchy and creamy states, although it always remains peanut-buttery delicious." LOL man, LOL. $\endgroup$ – user346 Dec 31 '10 at 1:31
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the link, Matt. This does seem pretty far-fetched. (The first part, I mean... doofusino theory is totally credible, right? :-P) But w/r/t the actual hydrino thing, I think it's still fair to ask if anyone has replicated the results. (I presume the answer will be "no") After all, the scientific process should allow each claim of discovery to succeed or fail on its own merit. $\endgroup$ – David Z Dec 31 '10 at 1:41
  • $\begingroup$ @space While I don't have the skill to tell the theory itself is crackpottery, I could tell that everyone who I do believe to have the skill thinks that way. And then there was also that secrecy that is a telltale sign. But this paper is public, with (seemingly) all the details, and from a purportedly independent university, so I thought someone might have tried to do the same. $\endgroup$ – Roman Starkov Dec 31 '10 at 12:14

I am highly skeptical of this result, primarily because the theories promoted by Black Light Power are improbable to the point of being gibberish. The energy states of hydrogen can be calculated exactly, and have been both calculated and measured spectroscopically to extremely high precision, and experiment and theory are in perfect agreement. If the modern understanding of quantum physics (including QED) were incomplete enough to leave room for mysterious lower-energy states in hydrogen, there would've been some indication of this in one of the countless experiments that have been done on hydrogen.

Another good reason to be skeptical of this result is that the report in question seems to have been "released" only via Black Light Power's web site. The only mention of the authors of this report in conjunction with "hydrinos" that Google can find come from Black Light Power. This result has not appeared in any scientific journal known to Google. Or even the Rowan University web site. This is not what I would call a ringing endorsement of the work.

As for the report itself, it is entirely concerned with chemical NMR spectra, and I don't have any first-hand experience with those. I know just enough about the field to know that there can be subtle issues involved with the recording and interpretation of these. I'm more inclined to believe that the mysterious peaks seen in their samples are some NMR artifact than that they are the signature of radically new physics.

It's conceivable, barely, that this really does represent some dramatic new discovery, and has not yet appeared in print because it's working its way through the peer review process, taking a long time because extraordinary claims require extraordinary scrutiny. The principal person behind Black Light Power has been making claims like this since I was in grad school in the 1990's, though, and has yet to produce anything solid. I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for this to appear in a reputable peer-reviewed journal, if I were you.

  • $\begingroup$ I hadn't noticed that my own URL was to BLP's website! Indeed, can't find it from any other source myself. $\endgroup$ – Roman Starkov Dec 31 '10 at 17:14

If it were indeed possible to get energy out of a ground state atom, then by definition, that atom would not be in the ground state. In other words, claiming that you can get energy out of ground state atoms is, in fact, a claim that what look like ordinary hydrogen atoms at rest are actually atoms in some kind of meta-stable excited state.

What are the odds that after 13 billion years, ALL of the hydrogen in the universe is still in this 'false' ground state? Surely there would be enough of the 'true' ground state material floating around that someone would already have noticed it? There would have to be some obvious clues.

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is, especially where claims of 'new energy sources' are concerned. You might as well stick a water wheel in a flat pond.

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    $\begingroup$ The claim is that there exists a lower state to the hydrogen atom. Such a state can in fact be found in the context of a Klein-Gordon model of the hydrogen atom. Of course, a hydrogen atom is made of a proton and an electron, therefore a Dirac equation should be used to model it. Thing is, the hydrino wave-function in the Dirac case is not square-integrable. Reference. However, I still think Black Light Power's claims are bogus. $\endgroup$ – Raskolnikov Dec 31 '10 at 18:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Raskolikov, Mills seems sincere. His supervisor was the guy who wrote a paper on the nonradiation condition, and it looks as if Mills became obsessed by it. $\endgroup$ – John McAndrew Feb 22 '11 at 1:04
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    $\begingroup$ Mills claims that 95% of the hydrogen in the universe is, indeed, below the "false" ground state and is now known as "dark matter". $\endgroup$ – James Bowery Sep 23 '14 at 0:10

There's an unfavourable review of Hydrino theory in New Journal of Physics by A Rathke of ESA Advanced Concepts Team (DG-X), ESTEC Keplerlaan 1, 2201 AZ Noordwijk, The Netherlands:


Abstract. Recently, spectroscopic and calorimetric observations of hydrogen plasmas and chemical reactions with them have been interpreted as evidence for the existence of electronic states of the hydrogen atom with a binding energy of more than 13.6 eV. The theoretical basis for such states, which have been dubbed hydrinos, is investigated. We discuss both the novel deterministic model of the hydrogen atom, in which the existence of hydrinos was predicted, and standard quantum mechanics. Severe inconsistencies in the deterministic model are pointed out and the incompatibility of hydrino states with quantum mechanics is reviewed.

  • $\begingroup$ It was a good read but it's purely theoretical. I'm more interested in people replicating step by step the published procedure. It's unusual for quacks to publish (seemingly) precise steps requiring only commonly accessible materials. $\endgroup$ – Roman Starkov Feb 21 '11 at 20:09
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    $\begingroup$ @romkyns That still doesn't help against crackpottery. If you follow the instructions precisely, you can get an Ouja board to communicate with you, but that doesn't prove that ghosts from the spirit world are real $\endgroup$ – Lagerbaer Feb 3 '12 at 4:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Lagerbaer Which, you have to agree, is a curious result too, requiring an explanation (in the field of psychology this time). I appreciate that repeating the results isn't anywhere close to proving a crackpot theory, but the result, if replicable, still requires some explanation. $\endgroup$ – Roman Starkov Feb 3 '12 at 7:49
  • $\begingroup$ Sure, but in now way does it warrant the extraordinary claims, because it's not really extraordinary evidence. $\endgroup$ – Lagerbaer Feb 4 '12 at 5:31
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    $\begingroup$ Experimental evidence should not be dismissed simply because a crackpot theory is advanced to explain the results. The two issues are separate. $\endgroup$ – user56903 Sep 9 '15 at 22:01

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