On Thu, 13 Apr 2000 22:14:55 Brian Robson wrote:
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>Supposedly the formula of "Red Mercury"
>Did this ever exist or was it a post communist hoax ?
>One theory came to me via AEC Pelindaba, that it was neutron enriched
>Mercury which could be used to miniturise nuclear devices.
>Alan Kidger of Thor Chemicals was murdered over his involvement in Red
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The way to approach this problem of verifying the existence and reports surrounding red mercury is the same as the approach to any dubiously verifiable set of circumstances. Look for any authoritative record concerning the amalgam involved and, if none exists, as I am sure none does in this case, look for any such record of the amalgamating compound, Hg2Sb2O7.
The International Chemical Register No. for this is 20720-76-7. If you try to repeat the synthesis of this compound in accordance with Dr. Sleight's report of 1968 in the Journal of Inorganic Chemistry my bet is you'll come to the same conclusion about it as myself. You can produce the red-brown compound he describes with a low stability and X-ray analysis that do not match his specifications. Or you can stabilise it to a light grey compound with high stability (does not even melt below ~1,000 degrees C) which provides an X-ray scan that certainly does match his specifications, right down to the relative intensities of the reflection peaks.
In short, Dr. Sleight appears to have lost HgO after producing the ternary oxide Hg2Sb2O7 and produced Hg3Sb4O13, a combination of the meta- and pyro-antimonate. Although this compound was hypothetical, my X-ray analysis of the oxide expelled from the compound as it was stabilised and quantitative analyses of the initial product, the stabilised residue and lost oxide confirm its existence. I have repeated the entire process 5 times without any deviation in the result. The final compound stains the melting surface of pyrex glass to a ruby-glass effect but, though it adsorbs onto the surface of mercury easily enough, I do not have the equipment to pressurize it into the element and find out if it forms a stable amalgam.
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'In April 1996 two things happened which gave new direction
to my researches into this compound. One was that a correspondent to
the ‘<dejanews>’ Internet website, Erick Singley, provided the
International Chemical Register (ICR) Number for it; 20720-76-7. The
other was that a book published in ’95, ‘The Mini-nuke Conspiracy’,
came to my attention. It contained the ICR number plus the name of the
chemist, Dr. Sleight, who had synthesized one or more allotropes of it
for the American explosives manufacturer Du Pont de Nemours, in ’68.
Using this information I easily found the chemical abstract (or note
concerning the experimental report) in volume 69 of the Chemical
Abstract Services’ (CAS) output, abstract number 71239v.
The description appearing against the ICR number would not
inspire much confidence in anyone unfamiliar with the one available
in ‘The Mini-nuke Conspiracy’, where it is described as ‘a mercury salt
of antimonic acid’:-
20720-76-7 Antimonic acid (H4Sb2O7 ), mercury (2+) salt (1:2)
H4O7 Sb2 .2Hg
However, anyone who had attempted to produce the compound
using reaction (2) on page 3 of Part I* would recognise the reactants
referred to. Unless they had a supply of oxygen available they would
also recall their observation of the ease with which mercury is
liberated from a compound when it is heated in solution. My own
experiences with this method were so disappointing that I did not even
include it in my test reports. The thing to remember about its
limitations is that they only obtain for the thermally unstable
allotropic forms of the compound. Another situation hardly calculated
to inspire confidence in the procedure is J.R. Partington’s reference
to antimonic and antimonious acids in his ‘Textbook of Inorganic
Chemistry’, where he states that their existence is ‘extremely
doubtful’. Antimonic acid’s formula appears against ‘Antimony
oxyhydrate’ in R.C. Weast’s ‘Handbook of Chemistry and Physics’.
Now, if the ICR description is considered inconclusive
what may be said of the one in the abstract? I had already examined the
CAS Subject Index for 1967-71 before April ’96 during the course of a
trawl through the service’s indices, looking for mercury salts of all
possible descriptions. The sought-after compound appeared as:-
mercury (2+) salt (1:2)[20720-76-7], crystal structure of,
69 :71239v '
* (2) 2HgO + H4Sb2O7 => Hg2Sb2O7 + H2O
Whatever else it may be, mercuric pyro-antimoniate is clearly not a
dream. As to the amalgam it produces when pressurized with mercury and
an actinide within a neutron-rich environment, this supposedly being
the means by which red mercury is produced, well, who knows?
> Thanks v. much for your response. It wouldn't surprise me if Dr. Arthur
> Sleight's experimental method really was flawed and I'm always keen on
> finding out about different ways of combining antimony and mercury in a
> double oxide. I tried different methods of achieving this for 14 years
> before hearing about red mercury, due to my interest in chinese and
> medieval european alchemy. Is the above address for the patent complete?
The above adress was right in 1996, things are moving so quikly in Russia
On that time I had a trouble to pay the patent due the fact the bank account
of Rospatent was cancelled in the West... One year later I've been able to
pay the amount of something near $40. In any case a patent attorney is able
to give you the right adress updated, bank account and so on. Delivery time
three days after the request by fax.
I hope you are reading Russian language. I proposed to send you a french
translation through e-mail. As you want.
For this patent you have to know : first requisition July 16th 1992, patent
delivered May 27th 1995.
If you are interested by old alchemia, there's new concepts running on cold
fusion and results are excellent. There's a junction between modern concepts
and old european alchemia. It depends what you are looking for. There's some
very good specialist in Italy, experiments are running through Berthollet's
powder, and experiments are running... Due to the fact a such powder is
involved, perhaps there's somebody in this newsgroup having other good
Be sure red mercury has nothing to deal with alchemia and cold fusion, red
mercury is only an hoax.
Cold fusion and alchemia are running in the field of electrons, a new model
putting partially "off" Bohr's model of atom, but that's a too long story to
put on a NG.
You are thinking red mercury is running with neutrons, you are wrong.
When you will be successful to produce red mercury (no doubt you are a good
chemist), please send me 50 grams for my private collection of crazy
products without any use in my office show room, I've planty of other
Thanks for the tip about Berthollet's Powder and the details available
in another message. The amount of gold involved, 0.6g, is reminiscent
of the amounts produced by one Dr. James Price, in 1782, during his
demonstration experiments in front of the Royal Society. These ranged
from 6 to 11 grains of gold, produced by the action of Price's 'red
powder' upon heated mercury. Later he transmuted mercury to yield 120
grains of gold as a presentation to George III, who was so impressed
that he ordered a regular gold supply from Price, to help with the war
effort. As anyone familiar with reports of the amounts of Philosopher's
Stone created by any one alchemist and the few grams of gold generated
in the course of a typical transmutation can testify, the king's
expectations were completely unrealistic and led to Price's suicide.
The official account of his demonstrations before the Royal Society is
available at <http.www.levity.com/alchemy/dr_price.html>. Incidentally,
wasn't Berthollet a celebrated Swedish chemist in the early 1800's,
which would make him a near contemporary of Price?
From all that I can find, all of these "transmutations" were simple
alchemist tricks. Gold dissolves in mercury. Boil off the mercury
and the gold is left behind.
Bill Nelson (bi...@peak.org)