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Last modified: 2013/08/01
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Reviewed by: Dr. I. Z. Machi
Group Head: iThemba LABS, Gauteng
I have known Johan Prins for a couple of years as a reputable scientist. As I perused through the preamble of his new book entitled: “Superconduction at Room Temperature without Cooper Pairs”, I was disturbed by his past and present experiences, as it was not fitting for a man of his caliber. On the other hand, I was particularly impressed with the carefully written text in his new book. The grammatical jargon in the book is explicitly African in its design; a unique feature.

As I got deeper into the text, it began to unravel that the book covers a wide readership community, and is therefore very much relevant for prescription at undergraduate level of studies; mainly because of the importance to spread knowledge to a broader community in this rare field of diamond research.

With regard to the complications experienced by Johan Prins on his experimental findings (which I believe that he will one be honored for – hopefully during his lifetime, not posthumously), I hope that his detractors will one day have the wisdom to make a fair judgment. It is on the basis of my experience that I strongly believe that one day fair judgment will be passed, and when that happens some of us will be turning in our graves in celebration of the victory in our Motherland; as South Africa will be counted as one of the countries that have made a contribution to science.

I have read the book in its entirety and have nothing to add or subtract. The book enjoys my full blessing.
Qina idolo mfo ka-Prins ngoba lomhlaba uyahlaba
Reviewed by: Prof. Jan C. A. Boeyens
Dept. of Chemistry, University of Pretoria
I have read the book by Johan Prins and I am impressed. The material has not been entirely new to me, having attended several seminars and symposia around his discovery of roomtemperature superconductivity before. Not being a physicist myself, I listened in amazement to the level of discussion of this ground-breaking work by the local physics community. I cannot recall having heard a single critical comment on the experimental design or reliability of the results. However, I have vivid recollection of hysterical objections against the reasonable interpretation of the experimental findings as an example of superconductivity. On the grounds that BCS theory fails to account for the observed phenomenon, not the theory, but the experiment was pronounced flawed. Although I know and respect the gentlemen concerned as competent physicists, I am baffled by their behaviour as men of science. In science the experiment is paramount. In my reading of both the published account and informed comment I have no reason to doubt any of the reported observations.

Therefore, if the theory fails to provide a reasonable explanation, it fails. Not to offend the establishment, it might be advisable to adopt the term Prins-conduction as an alternative. The most fascinating aspect of the book, to my mind, is where the author decides to stand by his experiment and look for a valid explanation of the phenomenon that he observes. He arrives at the conclusion that his results can never be explained in terms of the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics. His alternative that amounts to a non-local effect, struck an immediate cord with me as a student of Bohmian mechanics. Although he never mentions the quantum potential, the sub-quantum implicate order, or holomovement, his speculations could, in my opinion, be reformulated in terms of these concepts.

Even better appreciated is his introduction of a vacuum interface, in terms, almost identical to what I have proposed before. Johan Prins, like most mainstream physicists, is clearly not familiar with the work of Milo Wolff, whom I recognise as father to the thought that a sub-quantum wave structure is responsible for the breakdown of Coulomb’s law at the Planck level. This powerful idea eliminates infinities and singularities, not only in quantum electrodynamics, but from all physics and cosmology.

Should Johan decide to go this route, he may reconsider one aspect on which we disagree, i.e. the big bang, the mother of all singularities. Scientists specialising in the fields speculated on in chapter 10 are sure to follow on this work when it hits the public domain. I also declare my intention to look more deeply into the new world that is opening up here.
Reviewed by: Roger Wedlake PhD
Director: Sage Wise 66 (Pty.) Ltd.
This is a remarkable book, which I believe has seminal significance. It is a “must read” for all scientists, not just those working in the narrow field of superconduction. The book is different; it is not the normal “review of other reviews” but a refreshingly novel approach to the science of superconduction that is both closely reasoned and mathematically rigorous. What I really like is the way the author takes every opportunity to pin the new theory to a wide range of well published practical results. The fit between theory and practice in all three established classes of superconductors (metals, extrinsic semiconductors and ceramics) is nothing but remarkable. Similarly the fit to the large body of experimental results comprising the Mott transition, has wide ranging significance. I found the book “a great read”, although it did stretch my knowledge of science to the limit. In this regard I am thankful for part 1, which refreshed my memory of science I had long forgotten.

When I have discussed this work in academic circles I unanimously get given the advice that it must first be published in a peer-reviewed journal in order to be taken seriously. Here I disagree, from a commercial viewpoint, the author is totally right, to patent first, proceed to publish a book second and then go public, is the correct order. This way all the intellectual property rights including patent rights, copyrights and related computer source code rights remain with the author, (as should be his just reward). The book is not just about “the science” but has a Shakespearean sub-plot that describes “the journey”. The stories and insights here I am sure will be familiar to most readers and would make a good film. These stories plus the sometimes humorous use of foot-notes, adds welcome light relief to the book.

The author’s experimental equipment has been re-commissioned in our truly “third world” laboratory here in Johannesburg. I can vouch that his published results on the room temperature superconducting phase (see chapter 3) has been repeatedly demonstrated to me and other independent observers. The experiment is simple and reproducible. The production of shallow n-type doped diamond layers is also straightforward and should present no problems for mass production.

Chapter 9 is a magnificent chapter that comprehensively rounds off the work on super- conductivity by fitting the theory to major experimental findings. If this chapter does not convince mainstream superconduction aficionados then I don’t know what can be done except to quote the following: “A new scientific truth is not usually presented in a way to convince its opponents. Rather they die off and a rising generation is familiarized with the truth from the start.” Max Planck. Chapter 10 I found in many ways “mind-blowing”. If the speculations in this chapter stand the test of time (and I believe many will) then the world will be a very different and hopefully a better place for our children.

It should be remembered that this book has been written as a “primer” for the accompanying patents. Interested readers should study these patents in order to get the complete picture of the methodology for designing, optimizing and building room temperature superconducting artifacts.

It is almost 20 years since the spectacular events surrounding the discovery of ceramic superconductors that work at liquid nitrogen temperatures. In this period I believe over 100,000 papers have been authored by some 250,000 scientists. Looking from today’s perspective I think even the most ardent supporters of superconduction technology will be disappointed in the outcome of this huge intellectual effort.

Maximum critical temperatures have stayed substantially below 200 K and the BCS theory (with all it’s warts and lack of practical usefulness) remains supreme for explaining low temperature metallic superconductivity, but fails to explain superconductivity in ceramics. Furthermore, despite the efforts of many of the world’s top theoretical physicists (who were driven on by the lure of a Nobel Prize) a theoretical model of the high temperature ceramic superconductors has not been forthcoming. This is significant, as historically such major logjams were only broken by a major leap in our understanding of the fabric of the universe (which last occurred 80-100 years ago with the development in relativity and quantum mechanics). This book shakes the very foundations of our understanding of superconductivity and allows us to understand and use the phenomenon in a practical way. It also shakes the very foundations of our understanding of quantum mechanics. The implications of this will take years to fully evaluate.

'It has been a privilege to be involved with this “magnum opus”. To work alongside the author while he was developing such concepts has been both lively and exhilarating.' Dr. R. Wedlake