Papp and the Papp engine

  • A long time ago i worked out a 'scam scenario' for the Papp engine, and a reason for its explosion, with its tragic outcome. I post it here for no particular reason beyond checking to see if there are any holes in it.

    I0.5 kg of hydrogen at 100Bar has a volume of 0.06CM3. With a custom-built tank I think that is small enough to be concealed within the sump of a Volvo engine that, since it was idling and doing no work would not need a serious oil-supply. Since 0.5 kgH contains 16.5 kW/H of energy, it would run such a motor at low speed for a few hours and only produce clean but steamy exhaust.

    Switching off the control system power allowed hydrogen to fill the free space in the sump resulting in a hydrogen-assisted pressure explosion, and a fatality.

  • Only if it was a cloud of very hot oil mist (mist clouds can look silvery in some lighting) that burnt when exposed to the air - in a 'flashover' and became smoke. But as the engine was AFAIK never closely examined we can never be sure.

  • Papp was a paranoid person, concerned that others would steal his ideas. Roser wanted the engine to be displayed to the public, but Papp did not. Papp eventually agreed reluctantly. Papp and Roser had a few heated disagreements and Papp decided to thwart Roser and one result was Papp's uncooperativeness to take the engine to commercial success. Papp had his money why should he help his partner he despised? Like some inventors, Papp was his own worst enemy, so it seemed. This mistrust ran through all his business dealings and complicates the incredible story. The inventor was a jerk but his engine was real.

    The public display of the Papp/Roser engine in Roser's parking lot in Torrence, California, in 1968 attracted Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman. The modified four cylinder Volvo engine on a test stand in the parking lot was controlled by engine electronics run from a 120 VAC extension cord plugged into the building 100 feet away. Feynman saw the extension cord and thought he knew the source of the hoax he was so convinced it was. Feynman pulled the plug, but the engine continued to run. After about two minutes, the engine had not slowed down (running about 3000 rpm, as evidenced by the fan left on the engine to produce a visible effect) but started to run rough. Papp grew nervous and argued with Feynman to plug it back in. Feynman refused, so Papp yanked the cord from Feynman and plugged it in. The engine exploded, killing one bystander. Feynman accused Papp of placing explosives in the engine so it would be destroyed before legitimate testing could be done, in order to keep the hoax alive. Since a fatality occurred, the FBI got involved. No evidence of explosives was found. Papp sued Feynman and Feynman and Caltech settled out of court. If it were a hoax, there is no way Caltech would have settled out of court. It was done so Feynman and Caltech could save face.

    It seems, Papp didn't like the running his engine in selfpowering mode in similar way, like Andrea Rossi his reactor.


    Ionization and Coulomb explosion of Xenon clusters by intense, few-cycle laser pulses

    The power of the Papp engine came from the Coulomb explosion of noble gas clusters. The energy released by the explosion is proportional to the number of noble gas atoms in the cluster and the duration o the light pulse that triggered the coulomb explosion. The noble gas clusters were generated in the vacuum cycle of the non active piston.

    A large exploding noble gas cluster can produce as much as 2 MeV in energy.

    The XUV excitation pulses came from the chlorine in the noble gas mix as activated by the ignition spark.


    An excimer laser typically uses a combination of a noble gas (argon, krypton, or xenon) and a reactive gas (fluorine or chlorine). Under the appropriate conditions of electrical stimulation and high pressure, a pseudo-molecule called an excimer (or in the case of noble gas halides, exciplex) is created, which can only exist in an energized state and can give rise to laser light in the ultraviolet range.

    Papp polished the interior of the engine to reflect the excitation light created by the Excimer_laser discharge.…ines/5_coulomb/1_coulomb/


    The ions attain their kinetic energy from the conversion of the electrostatic repulsive energy in the cluster; the ions are too heavy to be accelerated directly by the rapidly oscillating laser electric field. Depending on the ion charges, the initial cluster/nanodroplet radius, the level and speed of the outer ionization process, the ion energies are in the keV to MeV range which is sufficient to induce nuclear fusion, if hydrogen isotopes are involved. Accordingly, possible applications of Coulomb explosions are table-top laser-induced nuclear fusion and neutron sources for material research [7-9] the study of stellar nucleosynthesis in the laboratory [10,11] (“stars in the lab” [12]), as well as particle accelerators.

  • I'm not sure if it is related but I'm quite curious about what happens to the helium produced in LENR reactions. I suppose in Wet type LENR with Deuterium fuel the helium is out gassed . In sealed systems such as LENR+ using lithium im curious how the helium is processed. I suppose similar amounts of Helium would be produced as the original amounts of Hydrogen or Lithium. If this remained in the system as a gas I suppose it would reach quite high pressures.

    I wonder if the helium would also be absorbed in to the metals? There are some interesting papers on Metal Titrates with helium in particular how the helium can nucleate in to clusters and form pockets in the metal. This in itself could be quite Interesting if those clusters can produce the Coulomb explosion effects mentioned by Axil. Could this be related to Papps engine in some way?

    On the other hand could these pockets formed in side the metal be sites where hydrogen could collect and adsorb on internal surfaces in the metal.

    Another interesting thing is Helium Ions are sometimes used to etch the surface of Nickel gold and other metals to make plasmonic black metals that absorb most of the incident optical Light or have particular polarization attributes.

    I don't know if any of these effects are relevant but they seem interesting.

  • I'm not sure if it is related but I'm quite curious about what happens to the helium produced in LENR reactions.

    It seems in electrolysis that He4 is partially freed in the effluent gas, and partly locked in the metal, and freed by reverse electrolysys or chemical attack.

    It should be documented in the specific works of Miles, McKubre,Chien,DeNinno...

    you can start to read those papers

    The latets review by Abd

    and why not those…n_cold_fusion_experiments

    There are also many details in the answer to Shanahan critics....

  • Has anybody ever wondered why Papp did not build another engine with the generous settlement he received from Caltech?

    Papp presented to an audience, including Feynman, an ill-fated demonstration in 1966, in which his engine exploded, killing one man and seriously injuring two others.

    That 1966 vintage engine was based on water. In the mid 1980s, Papp patented another type of engine based on noble gases.