An Evening with Dennis Lee

   By Dave Chapman   

Dennis Lee's free-energy show intermixed technical demonstration, preemptive answers to critics, and sales pitch. The sound system was loud and distorted, making listening tiring. With one exception, the technical demonstrations were accompanied by wildly inaccurate explanations. All the demonstrations were done on a stage 15 to 30 feet from the audience, so it was impossible to tell exactly what was happening and, in that regard, it was a little like a magic show.

Running an engine on water. Lee demonstrated a Briggs and Stratton 5 hp engine "running on water." As he explained it, the water had been separated into hydrogen and oxygen, and the gasses then remixed. Since the ratio was still two parts of hydrogen to one of oxygen, the formula was still H2O and, therefore, still water. He called this mixture Brown's gas and claimed some remarkable properties for it: If ignited, it imploded rather than exploded; if mixed with air, it exploded when ignited. He had a blue box which he claimed was a generator for Brown's gas. He burned the Brown's gas with a welding torch, producing a blue flame that could have been either hydrogen or propane, remarking the flame was always hot enough to vaporize any substance it contacted. He passed his hands through the flame, then put a piece of Tungsten into the flame and claimed it was as hot as the sun's surface. His technicians connected the gas generator to the engine and ran the engine for a few seconds. Lee never mentioned how much energy it takes to electrolyze water.

Running a 1 hp motor on a 9 volt transistor battery. Lee demonstrated a 1 hp motor running on a 9 volt transistor battery. An assistant turned on the motor and it rotated, although to my eye the motor barely overcame the friction of its own bearings. There wasn't much explanation with this demonstration. The claim seemed to be that a motor didn't need as much electricity as the power companies say it does.

Using a capacitor to reduce the line current. Lee had a motor with a load and meters to measure the voltage and current used by the motor. He connected a capacitor to the motor and showed that the current coming from the line was greatly reduced. Using the formula "power = volts x amps," he claimed the motor was using less power when the capacitor was connected. The power company doesn't tell people about this, said Lee, but adding this capacitor can reduce your electric bill. What he didn't say was that the formula is only accurate for DC. For AC it is accurate only if the voltage and current are lined up in time. If not, then the formula gives a number larger than the amount of power used by the motor - in some cases this can be much greater. Adding the capacitor, in effect, causes the voltage and current to be lined up correctly. Furthermore, the power meter on the wall takes this effect into account - so your bill doesn't change. These are things that are usually taught early in an Electrical Engineering program and are not secret at all.

The radiation neutralizer. According to Lee, Dr. Brown has a method for neutralizing radiation. Fortunately, he didn't demonstrate this, but claimed it was demonstrated to government scientists by neutralizing radioactive cobalt. The government scientists watching the process with Geiger counters detected no radiation. Lee said the government doesn't want to neutralize the radioactive waste at Hanford and other sites because they want the waste to make weapons.

Room temperature superconductor - a demonstration of the Meisner effect. Lee showed a video he claimed demonstrated "room temperature superconductivity" using the Meisner effect. He said he couldn't demonstrate the effect live because his machinists had built the demonstration using magnetic bearings that caused the apparatus to be unstable. The video showed a shiny magnet about an inch long and an inch in diameter floating above a pair of 5-inch long cylinders. It looked to me like a toy one can buy at OMSI with magnets in the base that repel a magnet that floats above the base. It merely involves magnetic repulsion, not the Meisner effect.

Magnetohydrodynamics. Lee showed two hollow metal cylinders, one aluminum and one copper, each about 2-feet long, with an outer diameter of about four inches and walls less than an inch thick. He held the aluminum cylinder vertically and dropped a weak magnet through the cylinder. As ex-pected, it dropped straight through. Then he dropped a strong magnet through the cylinder and it took much longer to fall. He repeated the experiment with the copper cylinder and the strong magnet took even longer to fall. On video we could see the magnet falling slowly. Lee said this was a demonstration of magnetohydrodynamics. He made no other claims about it, just a Gee-Whiz demonstration. The term magnetohydrodynamics doesn't fit because the only "fluid" was air and the air was not "conducting" current. The current was induced in the metal cylinders by the magnet.

The forth law of motion. According to Lee, the forth law of motion is: "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction - that can then be reapplied to the original action." He pointed out that motors must be mounted so the body of the motor doesn't rotate from the torque applied to the load. He then claimed this in effect wastes half of the power of the motor. To recover this wasted power, he had a mechanical scheme that allows the body of the motor to rotate, as well as the rotating shaft. He measured RPM, torque, current and voltage, holding the body of the motor still or allowing it to rotate. He claimed the apparatus doubled the RPMs when the body of the motor was allowed to rotate; the torque, current and voltage remained constant, therefore, his apparatus was twice as efficient. Unfortunately, I was too far away from this small apparatus to see clearly what was occurring.

300% efficient motor. Lee had yet another electric motor - this one driven by a collection of batteries and electronics. This is the motor Andrew tested. The heart of Dennis Lee's proposed free-energy machine was a combination of this 300% efficient motor and the apparatus that supposedly doubles the motor's efficiency by allowing the body of the motor to rotate.

Conspiracies. During the course of the evening Lee suggested a number of conspiracies:

You'll never pay for energy again. For $275 Lee's organization will install their generator in your yard. You will still have a connection to the power grid. If the generator breaks, you can switch back to the power grid while it is being repaired. The repairs are free and they will reimburse you for the power you bought while it was down.

A discussion of the word Impossible. Lee used the Wright brothers as an example of something accomplished that was thought to be impossible. According to Lee, Scientific American said that heavier-than-air flight was impossible. (I think what was really said was that without an adequate power source, heavier than air flight was impossible. The gasoline engine removed that restriction.) Since Scientific American had said heavier-than-air flight was impossible, reporters refused to cover the story. When a scientist says something is impossible it really means that he doesn't know.

Lee says that with God all things are possible.

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 2000 Oregonians for Rationality