Refuting Greenhouse Theory Kitchen Experiment: GHGs and glass transparent to real IR heat and Germanium non-transparent
By greenhouse theory, glass, H2O, CO2 and other greenhouse gases are claimed to absorb infrared (IR) radiation. They are non-transparent to the infrared. Conversely, Nitrogen, Oxygen and Germanium are assumed to be transparent to IR. We know this by the instrument that measures IR, the thermoelectric thermopile. I tested, by a simple experiment, the said substances for the said claims by exposing the substances to real 'hot' infrared heat radiation. The heat that burns without contact. All, but for water, failed the test: it is the complete opposite than is claimed. I conclude it is the instrument, the thermopile, that has lead us to a systematic error. Greenhouse theory is based on this instrument and as a result, is incomplete.
I’d like to share with you, for the record, and as brief, as I can, an experiment I conducted this time last week that refutes the foundational physics of greenhouse theory. This simple rather trivial looking home experiment is the culmination of over 10 years of research.
Going into it, early last Saturday morning the 24th of April, I felt like the scientists of old, not really knowing what the outcome would be, but having a pretty good idea. I also knew that if the results are positive, I am wrong and I have to leave this. They were, apart from water, all negative.
Incidentally, as I write this, the sun streaming through a glass window warming my feet.
Until recently I was going to test the non-greenhouse gases pure oxygen and nitrogen for infrared heat absorption from the sun by the Raman spectrometer, the modern complementary instrument to the thermoelectric instruments that define the greenhouse gases. Upon inquiry into my proposed experiment, I was advised by a Professor in the field of Raman spectroscopy, Lund University, that while the question has ‘interesting’ the instrument would not be accurate under the necessary conditions for the experiment — ‘there would be too much noise’. This came as a great disappointment; but, it never stopped me thinking.
Then it came to me: the real solution to my questions was literately steering me in the face all along. Test the specific substances for real! — high temperature — infrared (heat) transparency. Do the substances behave as they are claimed to?
To set you up for this imagine the following: you need, desperately, to shield yourself from hot sun or a glowing hot fire and all you have to do this with is either a clear glass sheet or a sheet of metal germanium. You are told, by 'the science', the glass blocks heat radiation and the germanium metal, by the science, does not. Which one do you pick up? Do you trust 'the science'?
Glass (silica), water (H2O) and the so-called greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide (CO2), and methane (CH4) are all, while transparent to visible light, are claimed to be non-transparent and thus absorbent to infrared radiation. Greenhouse Gases Absorb Infrared Radiation
Nitrogen (N2) and oxygen (O2) — the non-greenhouse gases — and solid metalloid germanium (Ge) are assumed to be totally transparent to infrared: they (supposedly) do not absorb infrared heat at all and at any temperature. It is for this reason — it is claimed — germanium is used as lenses in thermal cameras. (click to see Youtube demonstration)
The technology that defines our understanding of these claims and the so-called special greenhouse gases is the thermopile. It is the same (early 19th century) technology that runs the (pictured) yellow IR thermometer (and is directly related to the operation of thermal cameras and IR spectroscopy).
The thermopile is a transducer: it transduces IR (heat) radiation into electricity via the Seebeck effect. (It always interests me how MS Word spell-check always picks up ‘Seebeck’, that's how unknown it is.) The electricity transduced correlates with the heat radiated; but not perfectly, the correction factor I have deduced is what is termed the emissivity of the substance measured. More on that some other time, but it is important on its own to my findings as it too is very strange.
Demonstrating IR transparency with an IR camera. A, two sealed tubes (sealed with thin plastic and not glass), one contains air, the other CO2. B a 'hot' hand can be seen through the air, and C, the one with CO2, the hand is 'blocked'. Youtube clip.
In 1859 John Tyndall used the thermopile to deduce what he thought to be, and what we still think are the greenhouse gases. He measured an electrical current, by a galvanometer, from CO2 and the other ‘greenhouse gasses’, and measured no electricity from oxygen and nitrogen, and so he concluded oxygen and nitrogen do not absorb infrared, they are non-greenhouse gases.
To contain his gases, Tyndall (intentionally) used salt crystal and not glass (just as chemists do to this day with closely related IR spectroscopy) as glass is assumed to absorb IR, no IR measurement can be made through it.
From this 1859 finding greenhouse theory was formed and claims the transfer of energy between the (1%) greenhouse gases and the (99%) non-greenhouse gases after absorption from the sun or earth is done so only by collisions (conduction).Youtube clip.
From this, there are two outstanding problems with this —greenhouse — theory that have frustrated me and motivated me.
1) the theory contradicts foundational physics where all matter with a temperature (above absolute zero Kelvin) radiates infrared heat. If nitrogen, oxygen and germanium do not absorb IR, this is a contradiction to radiation theory.
2) the air is a very poor thermal conductor of heat, one of the poorest (0.024 WmK). Conduction in liquid and gas If the heat energy is not transferred to the non-greenhouse gases by radiation and not by conduction (collisions), how is the heat is transferred atmosphere at all? How do you explain the weather processes which all depend on this knowledge?
I say the oxygen and the nitrogen and the germanium do absorb and radiate and that there has been a systematic error by the reliance on one instrument type that measures them, the thermoelectric transducers and the like.
These transducers have led us wrong.
So, I tested the said substances for real IR transparency to test my hypothesis.
What you see in the photograph is my apparatus for my experiment. You see a stove with different things on it that I will now describe.
Note what you don’t see in the photograph, the gases of the atmosphere. 99% of the dry atmosphere is composed of nitrogen and oxygen.
Clockwise from the red-hot stove element:
The element is on full power and this is my (real) infrared radiation heat source. Infrared radiation is the heat you sense from the glow from such things.
Next is the IR thermometer. This is a very important instrument to greenhouse theory as described above.
The temperature of the radiating element was measured by the IR thermometer to be ca. 400C. The temperature of the ‘air’ (mostly non-greenhouse gas N2 and O2) above the element does not register a temperature by the IR thermometer.
Next is the baking soda and vinegar to make CO2 gas. I made the CO2 gas and poured it into a plastic bag, and sealed it. It is easy to pour as it is much heavier than air. I tested for CO2 by the flame extinguishing test before sealing.
Jumping ahead; can you see what looks like a coin on the aluminium sheet, that is the germanium. Germanium is very expensive, hence the amount I have (around 50 US dollars for that amount, it’s a start).
Germanium is a semi-conductor; it does not conduct electricity at room temperature; however, when heated, it does. I tested for this with the multimeter and confirmed it is germanium. What is also important about germanium is when the germanium is placed in front of the IR thermometer, and the IR thermometer is pointed at the radiating element, a reading of ca. 200 C was measured: about 50% of the real temperature, which matches what germanium should do. It appears to be transparent. More improved germanium is around 100% ‘transparent’, and is used in IR cameras.
You also see a glass bowl and some water in a jug.
My crude infrared radiation heat detector was my body, my hands, and my face, particularly my lips. We can feel infrared radiation: we sense it is heat. 400C, as is 200C, is dangerously hot with even short-time exposure, and easily sensed.
My method was to pass the different materials over the IR radiating element and discern by sensing whether the substances are transparent or not to IR as they are claimed to be.
This was done in the order of glass, the water in the glass bowl, aluminium foil, the germanium, the plastic bag, and then the CO2 in the plastic bag.
The reason I used an aluminium sheet was because the germanium ‘coin’ was so small and aluminium almost perfectly shields or reflects infrared radiation (which is the only actual true thing in this setup; aluminium does what it is claimed to, and the numbers match).
I demonstrated to myself I could measure the temperature of the hot element with the IR thermometer when the Ge was placed in front of the IR thermometer detector (implying the metal is transparent to IR as claimed); it measured. The same applied to the plastic bag. By the glass and the bagged CO2 on the other hand no change in the temperature is recorded when the glass and CO2 is placed between the IR thermometer and the element (corresponding to the claimed IR absorption).
Glass: I could feel the heat from the element through the glass.
Water: in the bowl totally blocked the radiant heat — even a small amount blocked.
Aluminium foil: blocked.
Germanium: blocked. In detail, I used the aluminium foil sheet with the hole and tested it if I could feel the heat radiate through the hole onto my lips and face. I could feel the heat. I then placed the germanium sample on and over the hole and repeated.
Initially, I felt heat coming through as if the Ge was not there and thought to myself: I'm wrong! I tried it again and then realised that the germanium had quickly heated and was itself radiating onto me (which it should not do if it were transparent). I could not touch the sample as it was so hot (it must have a low heat capacity (it does)) So, I repeated the whole process, this time passing the hole over the element in a fast movement knowing the IR radiates at the speed of light; first with no Ge, and then with Ge. I could instantaneously feel the heat through the hole, and then with the Ge over the hole again and I could not feel any heat. It blocked the heat.
CO2 in the plastic bag: I could instantaneously feel the heat radiation through the CO2 and plastic.
Discussions and Conclusions
The key outcome is that germanium (claimed to be transparent to IR radiation) is actually opaque to the radiant IR heat, and that glass and CO2 (claimed to be non-transparent to IR radiation from the sun etc) were actually IR transparent.
Water is remarkable for its true IR radiation opaqueness.
The germanium is similar to the nitrogen and oxygen in the atmosphere: they all actually absorb IR, and are opaque to IR radiation contrary to belief. To measure the temperature of the nitrogen and oxygen from IR radiation (and indeed the temperature of water, methane and CO2) a laser-based Raman spectrometer can be used.
The glass, apart for H2O, in the experiment is the same as the so-called greenhouse gases; they all transduce IR radiation to electricity by the thermopile and are thus claimed to be heat absorb IR heat radiation, but they actually by this experiment let the IR heat through. The CO2 was no defence to the heat radiation.
It is the thermopile instrument the has led us to believe CO2 is special. Tyndall, in 1859, really and only discovered the thermoelectric gases: the gases that transduce electricity from IR radiation.
I cannot see that anyone has conducted a similar experiment. Not only does this refute greenhouse theory at its foundations but also has implications for our understanding of heat radiation physics as a whole. Our belief in infrared absorption or transparency for different substances is totally based on instrument type and not on practical testing by modern instruments.
I have concluded there has been a systematic error in our measurement of infrared (IR) radiation and the greenhouse gases.
Read more of my work at:
Update: July 2021
I have tested a real FLIR germanium lens (pictured) to the same test. It blocks the heat radiation, mostly.
Interestingly, I do feel a little of heat coming through, but nothing close to the claimed 95% transparency. This small amount may be due to the other substances making up the lens.