Monday, November 07, 2005

I heart the Grauniad...

...but, their science coverage has ranged from mediocre to embarrassing.

This piece on "alternative energy" is just downright embarrassing, in a not so nice humiliating sort of way. Crosses the line of open-mindedness into "brains fall out" territory.

A serious newspaper wanting to actually report on something like Blacklight Power claims should at least spend some time getting informed criticism of the issues.

Having read over some of the claims, it is my professional opinion that Blacklight Power's theory is complete garbage. It is so thoroughly wrong that it does not even make contact with real physics.

I predict that no working device, producing sustained power, in the quantity claimed to be available, will ever be built using this technology.

Just for completeness, here is Rathke's rather terse deconstruction of the theory; and Naudt's even terser semi-defence (Naudt notes that the Klein-Gordon equation permits a n < 1 solution for a bound state that is square integrable, from which one might conclude that if the electron were a relativistic scalar the hydrogen atom would have an additional permitted bound state; but it is not).

I looked at some of the experimental papers: all the usual alarm bells go off - the bulk of the cites are to other papers by the authors, the rest are mainly to reviews or old generic work; small fractional power excess claimed using calorimetry of apparatus with large input power and poorly standardised power sources; spectra with "arbitary unit" y-axis calibration and commentary which makes no sense; obvious "sanity checks" and tests of consistency not mentioned or not carried out.
Don't believe it.


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