A canna’ change the laws of physics

Scotty, The Naked Time, stardate 1704.3, Episode 7

It’s a Kind of Magic

Posted by apgaylard on December 19, 2007

Part of the stock-in-trade of the pseudo-scientist is the invocation of esoteric scientific concepts to ‘explain’ how their particular delusion ‘works’.  ‘Quantum‘ has become very popular.  Here’s an example that uses a less well known entry in their wacky lexicon: neutrino

The device in question is apparently called the “Elemental Rod Generator“.  It’s a source of free electricity that ‘works’ 24/7.

The concept is that if two rods are both close together and have a difference in their elemental composition an electrical charge will build on one relative to the other.  How is this miracle achieved: by the magic of neutrinos.

The inventor claims that neutrinos will strike one rod “differently“. (I take this to mean a difference in the number of neutrino strikes in each rod, given that the earth is bathed in a flux of solar neutrinos)

Anyone who knows anything about neutrinos will immediately recognise this as bunk.

So, what are neutrinos?  They are elementary sub-atomic particles that have no charge, very little mass and travel at close to the speed of light.  They come in three types, or flavours: electron neutrinos, muon neutrinos and tau neutrinos.

To emphasise how little mass a neutrino has: for some time they were considered massless.  Recent experiments have indicated that they do have mass, but it is incredibly small; in the case of the electron-neutrino less than 0.002 percent that of the electron (for reference electron rest-mass is 9.1093 × 10-31 kg).

Because they are not electrically charged they are not subject to the electromagnetic force and thus do not cause the ionisation of matter.

This is a fatal blow to the magic neutrino explanation for how the Elemental Rod Generator ‘works’.  It says that the charge difference between the rods is a result of neutrino “strikes”.  This directly implies ionisation of the neutral atoms that make up the rod.

The problems do not end here.  Neutrinos only interact with matter via the weak nuclear force.  This force is very weak (field strength of around 1013 times less than the strong force) and has a range around 1000 times smaller than an atomic nucleus.  The result is that neutrinos are capable of passing through a staggeringly large number of atoms without causing any reaction.

Some estimates suggest that “…Only 1 in 10 billion of these particles, travelling through matter for a distance equal to the Earth’s diameter, reacts with a proton or a neutron…” 

Put another way “…more than 50 trillion solar electron neutrinos pass through the human body every second…”  If neutrinos were capable of ionising matter the prospects for life on earth would grim indeed. 

The fact that we are alive to debate this point is evidence that the magic neutrino explanation is just nonsense.  Neutrinos interact very little with matter.  Further evidence is provided by the lengths physicists have to go to detect them.  Detectors generally combine large liquid filled vats, providing lots of atoms/molecules capable of specific interactions with neutrinos, with instrumentation sensitive enough to pick up the evidence of small numbers of events.

Super-Kamiokande, a neutrino detector in Japan, holds 50,000 tons of ultrapure water surrounded by light tubes.  Note the men in a boat! http://www.scidacreview.org/0601/html/astro.html

 

Yet it is claimed that this generator is powered by not the vanishingly small number of neutrino interactions that will take place in these small rods but differences in neutrino interactions in each of the rods, due to the presence of an additional element in one rod compared to the other!

So, does the Elemental Rod Generator work in the way its inventor claims?  Not a chance.  Replace the word “neutrino” with “magic” and you’ll get a much better sense of the validity of the claim.

How come there are video clips of the generator ‘working’?  I’ve no idea.  If I were asked to investigate this device, the first thing that I’d look for is a hidden battery!

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3 Responses to “It’s a Kind of Magic”

  1. mugsandmoney said

    Frank, isn’t it obvious that these guys have picked the wrong elementary particle? I’m pretty sure that Rusakov Particles would fit the bill.

  2. apgaylard said

    Quite.

  3. [...] It’s a Kind of Magic « A canna’ change the laws of physicsDec 19, 2007 … The inventor claims that neutrinos will strike one rod “differently“. (I take this to mean a difference in the number of neutrino strikes in each rod, … [...]

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