Joseph Papp's Noble Gas Engine
Inert, noble gas engine with sealed engine cylinders, may operate on
some kind of nuclear principle.
PALO ALTO, CA, USA -- On Saturday, Nov. 25, from 3:00 to 3:55 pm Pacific,
Sterling Allan conducted a live interview
Rauen, who is the primary science advisor for PESN. Rauen has spent
nearly a year developing the Papp engine technology under the direction of Heinz
Rauen composed the following historical overview of the Papp engine, and
discussed the same in the live interview. An archive recording of the show
Joseph Papp invented and demonstrated a pulsed plasma discharge automotive style
piston engine that ran on sealed charges of noble gas mixtures in the cylinders.
Electric arc ignition triggers far greater output than input.
Joseph Papp, a Hungarian native, emigrated to Canada in 1957 around the time of
the Hungarian Revolution. Joseph was a pilot in the Hungarian military and was
also a microfiche technician. He supposedly received information from scientists
behind the Iron Curtain who did not want the Soviets to get this information
that he took to North America. In Quebec, Papp built a one-man submarine that
received considerable bad press and Papp emigrated to the USA in 1967 and
settled in Los Angeles. There, he found a machinist named Roser who helped him
build his first piston engine known as the Papp engine.
This engine is a multicylinder piston and crank design like today's car
engines, but each cylinder is sealed with a charge of helium, neon, argon,
krypton, and xenon. It has no intake or exhaust ports, nor even a radiator.
Multiple electrodes of complex design produce what is believed to be a very hot
electric discharge plasma in the noble gas mixture that reaches unusual
conditions liberating energy from some yet unknown source that is about 100
times greater than the energy put into the electrodes. Roughly 1kW is needed
from an alternator to run the engine controls and over 100 hp comes out. Two-
and four-cylinder engines were built over the years from 1968 until Papp died of
colon cancer in 1989.
Three US patents were issued to Papp, two specifically for engine designs. The
most noteworthy is 4,428,193. Papp claimed the gas mixture must be treated, or
polarized as he said. An elaborate treatment process is described in the stated
patent. The engine could run smoothly down to 100 rpm and developed hundreds of
horsepower at only 1000 rpm. It had torque in the hundreds of foot pounds and
must be built as robustly as a diesel engine.
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
investment 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 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.
Papp spent a few years developing a new type of engine control that was more
stable. By the early '80s, Papp found a new mechanic to work with: Bob Rohner of
West Liberty, Iowa. Papp settled in Florida. Several working engines ran during
the Rohner years, which lasted until Papp died in '89. During this time, his
third patent application was met with a USPTO request for a working model. Papp
refused to not only take an engine to Washington DC, but also to leave it with
anyone for any length of time. The USPTO then requested a dynamometer affidavit.
A diesel engine test group associated with the University of Oklahoma agreed to
come to Florida to test the engine. The affidavit was accepted by the USPTO and
they issued the patent, listed above.
At the time of Papp's death, the IRS was tipped off to Papp's lack of taxes
paid for millions of dollars of investment money received. The IRS seized most
of Papp's equipment and documents and placed them in a bonded warehouse. The
warehouse was broken into several times and many things were missing at the time
of the IRS auction. Somehow, the last working engine got back into Rohner's
hands and its location is currently known, owned by a private group.
Heinz Klostermann, a retired X-ray industry salesman and engineer,
took up the task of detective to pull together all the threads of information
regarding the Papp engine saga around 2000. He located Rohner and virtually all
the people who participated in the engine development over the years. Heinz
assisted a splinter group from the Rohner years, known as Infinite Horizons, in
San Jose, CA, and obtained 3.5 million dollars of investment money for them. The
money was poorly spent and Heinz and the investor had a serious argument and
Heinz was kicked out of the company.
Heinz went off on his own and formed Clean Energy, Inc., in Palo Alto, CA.
There, with an investment partner and Bob Rohner, proceeded to systematically
recreate the Papp engine. Ken Rauen from Gene Mallove's New Energy Research
Laboratory was hired in 2004 as their first employee. Initial funding was small
and did not last long enough to find more investment. CEI went into hibernation
after only 10 months of research. Funding, as of this writing in October of
2005, has come back but no advancement is reported.
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