Why IE Crystals Are Probably a Scam

  1. Rougly a dozen phases of water have been discovered at extreme temperatures and/or pressures. There is a huge literature on the physics of ice and water, including extensive studies of clathrates (ions "caged" in by water molecules, as supposedly occurs with Ie crystal formation.) No one has reported ice stable at room temperatures, as Dr. Lo is claiming.

  2. Therefore, if IE crystals were legitimate, they would be MAJOR NEWS. We're talking the cover of Science, front page of the New York Times, interviews on CNN, and a possible Nobel Prize nomination for Dr. Lo. Therefore, Dr. Lo can be expected to take reasonable steps to bring this about, e.g., by seeking replication and confirmation of his results.

  3. So where are the replications? None are reported in Dr. Lo's papers or the ATG web site. The scientists whom ATG has apparently contracted to do studies of IE crystals appear to have been supplied with samples from ATG. (And who knows what's really in those samples?)

  4. Dr. Lo's paper in Modern Physics Letters gives the following recipe for creating IE crystals: start with water, add salt (NaCl). Then, shake, dilute with more water, repeat many times. The paper states that crystal formation can be significantly enhanced by adding "a dielectric material with high boiling point" of around 350 degrees C. But the material is not named, and the quantity used is not given. Where is the full disclosure normally required in scientific work? Does this look like someone eager to have others replicate his experiments?

  5. IE crystals could be just a mistake, not a deliberate scam. But mistakes are quickly rectified in science through attempts at replication in other labs. ATG is busy hyping the properties of IE crystals, collecting big money from sales of fraudulent laundry balls, an automotive combustion enhancer, and soon a line of homeopathic health products. Funny how they can't be bothered to obtain proper confirmation of their results. What's a Nobel prize worth these days, anyway?

  6. In October 1997, a lab in Pennsylvania said that a sample from ATG of water allegedly containing IE crystals was indistinguishable from tap water. As a result, ATG ended up paying $20,000 to the Oregon Attorney General to settle charges of consumer fraud. As of April 1998, ATG has still not contacted this Pennsylvania lab, Structure Probe, Inc., to discuss their results or try to convince them that Ie crystals are indeed legitimate. Does this sound like a company convinced that "our science is real" and determined to defend it "in every legal venue" (quotes from Harold Rapp's threatening letter to Mark Dallara)? Or does it sound more like a bunch of con artists slinking away, relieved to have only lost $20,000 when they're raking in millions?
    Dave Touretzky
    Last modified: Fri Sep 4 17:21:20 EDT 1998