It’s a few weeks before 2009 as this is written, but we can predict excitement about emerging energy developments. Magnetic motor claims will come into the public eye and the Orion Project will carry forward the work of Stan Meyer. Other water-related projects around the world will continue to have successes. More thousands of garage tinkerers will join the HHO (otherwise known as watergas) movement and supplement the regular fuel used in their vehicles with hydrogen.
A month ago near San Francisco I saw a demonstration which appeared to be more output than input, perhaps involving what is known as cold electricity. It’s premature to write about it, but I expect we’ll be hearing a lot more about Pete S. He aspires to drive an 18-wheeler truck across the continent and back on only a few gallons of gasoline; but if his technology does what he says it can, there will be other ways to use it to solve major energy-related problems and rescue an economy. He has funding, but there are other potentially revolutionary energy-related discoveries of various types whose inventors have run out of money for bringing their inventions to the marketable stage.
With your help in spreading the word via discussions and blogs, our new book Breakthrough Power (breakthroughpower.net or order through the Atlantis Rising catalog) will do its part in building awareness, a grassroots push and the political will for replacing dirty fuels with clean energy technologies that leapfrog beyond today’s expensive alternatives.
The upcoming year will see breakthroughs in some of the basic science that underlies a variety of unconventional energy discoveries. At the moment new theoretical understandings appear to be only vague outlines on the horizon, but they will eventually be seen as significant.
Today I interviewed one of the scientists involved in Project Common Thread, Ken Rauen in northern California. The collaborative project began with serious efforts in recent years to understand the science behind the controversial Papp (pronounced “Pop” in Hungary) engine. Eventually it evolved to include a new look at other weird-science events that at first seemed unrelated to that engine. Physicists with strong academic credentials, including Michael McKubre and George Miley, are involved in the loosely knit project, figuring out how various discoveries can help explain what happens in the “low energy nuclear reactions,” (LENR—more commonly called “cold fusion”). Several of the key engineers and electronics wizards involved in the project—Rauen, Bill Harrington of Washington state, and “charge cluster” pioneer Ken Shoulders—have developed new insights on how atoms work.
What does all this mean to you and me? Project Common Thread doesn’t have an energy generator to sell in the stores, at least not at this time, but it is working on a new theoretical foundation. Implications of the project’s findings could include a way to clean up some of the radioactive wastes on Earth and generate abundant amounts of cheap clean power without any polluting emissions.
Project Common Thread’s History
Rauen worked closely with the late Eugene Mallove at the New Energy Research Laboratory in New Hampshire. One day a visitor from western Washington began asking questions about cold fusion. Electrical engineer Bill Harrington had twenty years’ experience with Hughes Aircraft and had developed electronics for radar systems around the world. His curiosity had been aroused by the “noble gas” engine supposedly invented by a man named Papp. As a result of that visit, the next issue of Infinite Energy Magazine carried the story of the late Josef Papp and his engine.
Meanwhile other connections had been leading toward the search for a “common thread.” An industrial electrician originally from Germany, Heintz Klosterman, had become national sales manager for medical X-ray technologies, dealing with major companies. After retiring from the corporate world, he decided to investigate this strange Papp engine he’d heard about. He knew a couple of affluent former radiologists who could commit significant money, and as a result a research company was formed in California. Klosterman had approached McKubre about being involved in the research.
Why would a respectable Ph.D. physicist investigate a controversial engine that was said to produce at least ten times more energy output than input? In the case of McKubre, Miley and an equally distinguished colleague whose academic job could be on the line if he is publicly associated with weird science, their involvement in LENR, must have broadened their vision. They were in a field where the science behind phenomena was not understood, because tickling metals with low-voltage electricity in a watery environment is not generally expected to make reactions that give off relatively huge amounts of heat per atom involved. Like cold fusion, the Papp engine is a scientific mystery. The gases it uses—argon, helium, krypton, neon, and xenon—are called noble because they generally are not reactive, but in the Papp engine they exploded violently and drove a retrofit device from an ordinary gasoline engine without the need for a cooling system, fuel system, or exhaust.
Who was Josef Papp? Rauen describes an ex-pilot who left Hungary in 1957 after the revolt against Communism and subsequent Soviet invasion of Hungary. He seemed to be a paranoid character who was technically educated but didn’t seem to understand the physics behind the “Papp” engine, so he may have been trained by whoever was the real genius. Since he was knowledgeable about microfiching, when Papp emigrated to Canada he may have smuggled out microfiche copies of documents from secret research and development projects hidden in eastern Europe.
Regardless of whether he was the original inventor or not, Papp managed to build an engine that amazed engineers and scientists who saw the engine working in closed rooms for hours. There was no exhaust and no cooling system, but the engine had huge torque even at low revolutions-per-minute. It was an unprecedented cool-running engine of more than 100 horsepower—75 kilowatts—that ran on a mixture of noble gases, perhaps pretreated and mixed with some air.
For many years afterward skepticism was intense; the science world didn’t know that electrically-triggered noble gases can violently explode and cause energy releases powerful enough to melt metal. Since then, investigative scientists from the cold fusion and plasma physics worlds have actually seen those explosions push pistons with large pressure pulses.
The late Eugene Mallove wrote in the September/October 2003 issue of Infinite Energy Magazine that Papp’s engine at first appears inconceivable—until the evidence is carefully weighed. “Once the battery-driven electric starter revved up the Papp engine, according to dozens of initially-skeptical witnesses, the engine—equipped with an alternator—ran with no outside electrical input. And even if such ‘miracle’ reactions of noble gases should produce interminable explosions from a tiny volume of gas, pushing pistons and driving a large flywheel, why didn’t such an engine run very hot? It didn’t. What about the supposed need for a much lower temperature reservoir to make this ‘heat’ engine work at all? If the engine is a monumental fraud, it is a very, very challenging one to try to pull off.”
Mallove courageously stated that there may well be an underlying physics that links elements of the two mysteries and their profoundly heretical science. His view was that a radical departure from conventional understanding of nuclear physics, atomic structure, electricity, and the vacuum state will be required to explain the Papp engine. He expected that whatever scientific model replaces today’s paradigm, the new model will explain interactions of subatomic ‘particles’ as manifestations of an aether physics.
Rauen is convinced that the Papp engine controlled a reaction called induced beta decay which releases energetic electrons as neutrons are forced to decay. The release of those electrons makes electromagnetic waves that the engine taps mechanically, by magnetic repulsion. For technical people this means that expanding microwave cavities can produce mechanical work.
What do we non-techies need to know about all this? We need to hear Rauen’s additional comment—there is no dangerous radiation and no radioactive waste from the Papp technology, just as there is none from most cold fusion processes. Radiation from alpha and beta decay can be stopped by a piece of paper; it doesn’t require expensive shielding.
These researchers are even giving us a new look at sunspots and how they may affect the operation of exotic energy inventions. Sunspots are areas of intense magnetic activity on the sun’s surface, and most solar flares come from regions of the sun where there are visible sunspot groupings. Sunspot activity was somewhat quieter in recent years and only returned to an active level this past autumn. Suddenly an energy device called the Koldamazov reactor works again. The reactor was tested in Edmonton, Canada, a few years ago and created some out-of-the-limelight excitement but then, I’m told, it went through a period of mysteriously not working.
We could irreverently and unscientifically say that the energy reactors, invented in Russia, quit in protest over the thief who stole the technology, represented it as his own, and started a company. He is apparently now in Korea, in prison for fraud, and the reactor woke up from its sleep you could say.
However Rauen, Shoulders, and Harrington have a scientific explanation, although an unorthodox one. Rauen says he and his colleagues speculate that the fact that Koldamazov reactors are now working is due to sunspot influence on the flux of neutrinos traveling through the earth. Maybe the buzzword of the new year will be “neutrinos.”
Project Common Thread is doing wide-ranging research. Rauen shows us a photograph of ball lightning demonstrated to him by Bill Harrington. Two plasmoids are swirling inside a quartz vacuum chamber. Rauen explains that it isn’t behavior like a gas discharge in fluorescent lighting or mercury vapor lamps. Those forms of lighting fill their glass envelope but the ball lightning doesn’t; it’s very different. What goes on inside the ball lightning is believed to be the same as in Ken Shoulders’ “exotic vacuum objects”—EVOs. Weird things happen; matter behaves very differently inside. Rauen tells us that in these forms of plasma, atoms with unstable nuclei decay to their long-term stable forms in about a second. Normally it would take billions of years.
“Out comes the energy as a result when the plasmoid collapses and returns to normal spacetime. Papp made this happen 1.75 million times a second! No wonder the engine ran smoothly down to 100 rpm!”
Magnacoaster—entertainment pawn or game-changer?
Television viewers in Canada recently saw a new energy possibility. It appeared on a show called Dragons’ Den that capitalizes on fantasies about getting a million dollars for a business idea. A panel of megawealthy individuals are the “Dragons.”
Early in December one of the “winners” on the show was the inventor of something he called the Magnacoaster. Richard Willis from Kitchener, Ontario, didn’t kowtow to the Dragons. Instead, wearing a cheeky T-shirt he strolled into the room where the financiers held court. He was unapologetically pulling a small wagon weighed down by a big box studded with light bulbs. Basically he said he’s discovered a way to use magnetic power to get massive amounts of electricity with no pollution.
One of the amused “Dragons” asked how he made the discovery. Willis replied calmly that he called the nearby University of Waterloo “after I got electrocuted the second time” and they tested his device. The first test showed a 260 percent increase in power from input to output. His patent-pending design injects power at a certain frequency in between a set of magnets and a coil. He says it bounces around inside the coil and comes back out at a higher frequency, voltage, and amperage. Resonance?
And he was working on a deal with the state of Michigan and in talks with Mercedes Benz. Why then would he need money? It’s because he wants to help Ontario by building power plants. Despite reactions of his fellow Dragons, one wealthy man agreed to put in a million dollars if the invention works as promised.
On a blog reply later, Willis said his (apparently no moving parts) invention can be used to run anything with power, up to megawatts; no more nukes or coal-fired power plants. This change can make jobs. His unit could replace the gasoline motor in the future as well, Willis claims. The downside? He said it needs a battery to slow the speed of the power down.
If the energy revolution has begun, all the more reason for each of us to become involved in spreading the word. We too might help stop the construction of polluting power technologies so that something vastly better could be substituted. New and constructive jobs can be created. It’s up to the people to stand up to vested interests and reclaim our power – at all levels.
Jeane Manning and Joel Garbon’s new book Breakthrough Power: How Quantum-leap New Energy Inventions Can Transform Our World is available at www.break throughpower.net and through this magazine’s catalog.