The Long Dark November Of The Blogging Soul | Main | Academic McCarthyism
November 07, 2005

Blacklight Power, Again

The claims of Blacklight Power have been bubbling around the Internet for a while. Supposedly, they've found that quantum mechanics, which specifies that the electron orbiting a proton (a hydrogen ion) must be precisely so far from the proton, has some wiggle room in it. They claim that they can induce the electron to take an orbit closer to the proton, releasing energy (apparently the tighter orbit has a lower energy state, and when an electron jumps from a higher-energy orbit to a lower one, it must release energy).

Bullshit? Most physicists think so. But they claim they've got some big companies investing in this scheme, which may indicate that there's something here... or that big companies are greedy and run by people who don't know much about science. Either/or.

I suppose it should be pointed out that at some point physicists and chemists believed that nobel gasses could not bond with other atoms under any circumstances -- all of their orbits were filled! it was impossible! -- until one day someone did a little chemical engineering and got them to do just that.

I'm a little more interested in this bit at the end of the alt-fuels rundown:

Wave generators

No longer a dead duck, the hopes of engineers are riding on bobbing floats again. The British company Trident Energy recently unveiled a design that uses a linear generator to convert the motion of the sea into electricity. A wave farm just a few hundred metres across could power 62,000 homes.

There's an extraodinary amount of energy in the oceans -- just ask the citizens of New Orleans -- and if there were some way to convert that to electricity...


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posted by Ace at 02:54 PM

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