Letters

Erik Baard's cover article "Quantum Leap" (December 28), about physicist Randell Mills, provoked widespread reader response. Following are some of the many letters received in reaction to it.

JUMP STREET JOURNAL

This was a wonderful article, largely because it's the kind safer, more conventional publications won't touch. Whether Mills is correct in his theories or not, he's clearly discovered something that conventional quantum theory can't explain, and we have every right to follow his progress. Thank you for publishing the story.

James A. Ritchie
New Castle, Indiana

Congratulations on publishing Erik Baard's fine article "Quantum Leap" in the VV! The achievements of Dr. Randell Mills will solve the problem of energy, which is imperative because even the best combinations of energy efficiency and classical renewables cannot guarantee sustainable development. Forget fairy tales!

At the same time, a new realm of material science is being created by [Mills's company] BlackLight Power. I call it "peri-nuclear chemistry," and it has myriad useful applications. It is strange that the organizations that should be most interested, the American Chemical Society (despite accepting Mills's papers at its October 6 symposium) and the American Institute of Chemical Engineering seem to have nothing to say. And the reaction of Dr. Robert Park of the American Physical Society is in consonance with the ideas published in his "What's New" online column (a better name would be "What's New That I Hate").

I think my fellow chemists and chemical engineers cannot afford to ignore the advent of a new field of chemistry. The upper management of ACS and AICE should take notice.

Peter Gluck, Senior Consultant
Dynamic Network Technologies
Cluj, Romania

I thought Mills was a con man, but that he's presenting papers at a regular science outlet proves he's a sincere crank—and that he could raise $25 million boggles the mind! Nevertheless, it's the easiest thing in the world to get 20 percent excess heat in an experiment: just be off 10 percent in energy input and have over 10 percent error in energy output and there you are—time to issue an IPO. If your eccentric science is peer-reviewed by fellow eccentric scientists, you can keep your show on the road.

Rich Murray
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Erik Baard's article on the apparently revolutionary promises of BlackLight Power Inc. was by far the most in-depth and comprehensive journalism since anyone has taken notice to cover Dr. Mills's work. Hats off to you for some good old-fashioned journalism.

Philip Nicozisis
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Scientific research is not for the closed-minded. Nothing in science is 100 percent. Give me science that is 100 percent, and I'll give you [Mills's] unified field theory.

Jason Brady
Richmond, Texas

"You could fuck around with the hydrogen atom, you could fuck around with the energy process in the sun. You could fuck around with life itself," claims Dr. Phillip Anderson, a Nobel laureate in physics at Princeton [quoted in Baard's article]. "Everything we know about everything would be a bunch of nonsense. That's why I'm so sure that it's a fraud."

These are the words of a man afraid his life's work may be based on false premises. He worked so long and hard on it. Obviously it must be correct!

Well-developed theories and systems of belief are like houses of cards, built piece by piece upon wafer-thin assumptions and extrapolated relationships. In my "uneducated" opinion (B.S. in physics), any theory that describes only one type of atom, and that only to a first-order approximation after much arduous work, is, by definition, incomplete. Physicists have intuited for generations that there is moreto the story.

R.A. Farr
Huntsville, Alabama

This is extremely important work that has had far too little coverage in the press. Imagine a competitor to oil to power vehicles, and the potential for peace this would herald!

Mark Goldes
Sebastopol, California

Studying molecular biology, I've never been too appreciative of scientists who take themselves so seriously that they can proclaim absolute truth where only theory exists. It must be remembered that the great heroes in science and industry walked a fine line between being lauded as geniuses and heckled as frauds and failures! At least Dr. Mills is attempting to expand our understanding in a direction that others dare not venture. Please, keep us updated.

Jason Peterson
Spanish Fork, Utah

Super article by Erik Baard on physics—the kind we don't get enough of!

Joyce Lange
Charlotte, North Carolina

Thank you for the fascinating piece on Dr. Randell Mills. That the new century should begin with men who are willing to dream big and take risks is encouraging.

Elena Borkland
Sandy Spring, Maryland

Brilliant! I must commend Erik Baard for having the guts to tackle such a controversial issue in deep detail.

Sure, Mills may be wrong, but Baard has given his ideas a chance, and given us something to ponder.

David M. Jinks
Olympia, Washington

We should keep all our options open. Remember the tale of five blind men attempting to visualize an elephant. All of their observations were partly right. What we've learned to be correct is only partial.

W.K. Kan
Singapore

The problem with physicists who put Dr. Mills down is that they reject before they analyze. This is a bit reminiscent of the reaction to a Geneva, Switzerland, patent clerk who told physicists of the early 1900s that Newton was wrong at high speed. Even when the patent clerk showed them that he was right—that the precession of the orbit of Mercury showed that Newton needed corrections—he was scoffed at. Einstein was the patent clerk.

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