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ORMUS, also called ORMEs (Orbitally Rearranged Monoatomic Elements) and m-state materials, is a fictitious group of substances exhibiting many miraculous properties, such as healing powers and superconductivity at room temperature. They were supposedly discovered in 1975 by David Hudson, a cotton farmer from Arizona.

Claimed properties of ORMUS[edit]

Chemically, ORMUS is supposed to be precious metals (gold, platinum, iridium, etc.) in an exotic state of matter, where the metals do not form any bonds or crystals but exist as separate single atoms. At the same time, it is supposedly the material that the soul (or the life force) of all organisms is made of, an "essence of life". When mixed with water, "it forms a gelatinous suspension that looks just like semen."[1]

Here's a selection of what ORMUS can supposedly do:[1][2]

  • Cure all forms of disease, including cancer and AIDS
  • Correct errors in the DNA
  • Act as a superconductor
  • Emit gamma radiation
  • Partially levitate in the Earth's magnetic field
  • Read a person's mind
  • Have a "weigh-ability" different from mass, which probably means an inertial mass different from the gravitational mass
  • Be fused into a transparent glass
  • Act as a flash powder, causing "explosions of light"
  • Make severed cat tails grow back[3]

Hudson reportedly spent "over five million dollars" to obtain his samples of ORMUS. He also claims that ORMUS was a subject of research in several national laboratories in the U.S. In 1989, he managed to get a British patent on his invention, which ran out in 1993.[4]

Non-exhaustive list of errors[edit]

Despite being surprisingly literate in scientific jargon, Hudson is definitely not a scientist. Most of the time, he is babbling incoherently and not even wrong or teaching a disfigured version of a high school chemistry curriculum. At the few times when he does get coherent, there are glaring mistakes. Here are some of them:

  • He refers to legitimate scientific publications in the field of nuclear chemistry about deformed and superdeformed nuclei, without realizing that these papers talk about excited nuclear states which can only be observed in particle accelerators at extremely short timescales. Separating any macroscopic amount of them is impossible, because they completely decay within microseconds from their formation.[1]
  • He claims that gold forms a free, uncomplexed hydride — a chemical impossibility; that HAu is different from AuH — even though the order of elements in a summary formula is only customary and does not contain any chemical information; and that chloroauric acid HAuCl4 can be directly reduced to gold hydride — also an impossibility.[1]
  • He says that gold is similar to alkali metals in that it has one electron on the s subshell of the outermost electron shell and because of this "wants to go to two electrons or it wants no electrons", and therefore regular metallic gold is "diatomic" with the formula Au2, with an ionic bond between the atoms.[1][5] This shows a complete lack of understanding of the nature of chemical bonding in metals. If his theory was true, gold would have a much lower melting temperature and would not be malleable or ductile.
  • He believes that aqueous solutions of salts of precious metals, such as rhodium(III) chloride RhCl3, contain clusters of Rh15Cl45, Rh13Cl39 etc.[5] Chemistry says those solutions contain chloride ions Cl- and various complexes of rhodium ions, including RhCl3(H2O)3, [RhCl2(H2O)4]+ and [RhCl(H2O)5]2+. Additionally, he believes that dissolving gold in aqua regiaWikipedia's W.svg yields gold chloride in the form of clusters like Au12Cl36. Actual chemistry says that gold in the resulting solution exists in the form of tetrachloroaurate, AuCl4-, which does not form any clusters.
  • Hudson's UK patent for his "discovery" presents IR spectra as evidence of "electron pairing within the atom".[5] Aside from the concept being absurd, he uses the wrong spectra, as infrared wavelengths correspond to the energy of chemical bond vibrations (i.e., electron pairings between atoms). Electron shell changes would be visible in the UV or visible spectrum.
  • He repeatedly says that "there is 1018 ergs in one gauss".[1] Ergs and gausses are units of different quantities. Erg is a unit of energy equal to 100 nanojoules, while gauss is a unit of magnetic flux density equal to 100 microteslas. As such, the statement makes absolutely no sense. He also mentions that the Earth's magnetic field is "several gauss", whereas in fact it is less than 1 gauss.
  • He apparently postulates the existence of materials with different inertial and gravitational masses, such as materials that fall to the Earth slowly, but are hard to push around. This is ruled out by Einstein's theory of general relativity.[1]
  • He claims that yttrium barium copper oxideWikipedia's W.svg (YBCO), the first discovered high-temperature superconductor, is superconducting because copper contained in it "goes into a high spin state",[1] a physical impossibility. Chemical bonds have energies of a few electron volts, while high spin nuclear states have energies of at least hundreds of kiloelectronvolts.
  • He states that "superconductors are in your body now". This could certainly be detected by a SQUIDWikipedia's W.svg magnetometer, but it is not.
  • He postulates that precious metals have important biological functions, and their loss from the body over time is the cause of aging. In reality, precious metals have no biological function.
  • He even misspells a lot, in a comical way: cisplatinWikipedia's W.svg becomes Sys-Platinum, carboplatinWikipedia's W.svg becomes Carbono-Platinum, perovskiteWikipedia's W.svg becomes Percovite,[1] and Büchner funnelWikipedia's W.svg becomes Butiner funnel.[2]

Back to reality[edit]

Hudson's patented procedures definitely do not work, because that would be at odds with the known chemical behavior of gold under those conditions. The result is a worthless salt that has none of the claimed properties. Since gold is expensive, the used chemicals are corrosive and the fumes released during repeated boiling toxic, attempting those procedures is a good way to waste money and/or injure yourself. The countless alternative procedures of obtaining ORMUS also do not work — a material with superconductive properties occurring abundantly in nature would be very easy to detect, yet no such kind of material is known to modern science.

The concept is highly exploitable by quacks, who sell a wide variety of ORMUS preparations under names such as Cleopatra's Milk, Liquid Chi, Prime Enzymes, Zenergy, Sola, Mountain Manna, C-Gro, etc. intended for human consumption as well as in agriculture. They definitely do not contain any gold or other precious metals, which is in fact a good thing, because water-soluble forms of precious metals are very toxic. Mountain Manna even combines ORMUS with homeopathy for double laughs.

ORMUS enthusiasts invented countless even more outrageous theories, linking ORMUS to everything: pyramids, dead people's souls,[6] Bose-Einstein condensate, biblical manna — you name it.[7] The variety of magical powers ascribed to ORMUS was also expanded. As a side note, the notably crazy David Icke thinks highly of the powers of monoatomic gold.[8]

External links[edit]