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Rhodium and Iridium

In the attempt to decipher and understand the implications of the science of David Radius Hudson's experiments, the ORME Physics, and the connections of these results with a variety of state-of-the-art theories of mainstream physics and chemistry, we encounter a fundamental question:   Why is it that only the Periodic Table’s Group VIII Transition Elements seem to predominate in the ORME, the “Radius Effect”, or the “ghost gold” theories of David Hudson?   

Four elements that have been prolific in the early discussions are Rhodium (Rh), Silver (Ag), Iridium (Ir), and Gold (Au).  The other four Precious Metals (Ruthenium, Palladium, Osmium, and Platinum) have also proven themselves to be important -- see, for example, Laurence Gardner ’s Lost Secrets of the Sacred Ark [1].  But Rhodium and Iridium predominated in David Hudson’s research.  By implication, this suggests that these four elements (Rh, Ag, Ir, Au) are different from all the other elements.  The question is, how do they exhibit extraordinary importance?           


On the one hand, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica, “Rhodium is a chemical element which is a precious silver-white metal.  It is one of the platinum metals.  Rhodium has a specific gravity of 12.4 and melts at 1,966 oC; thus it is difficult to fuse or cast.  It is fairly hard and cannot be easily worked at room temperature; but it can be forged above 800 oC, a red heat.  Its boiling point must be above 2,500 oC.”  It can be electroplated onto metal objects, polished for jewelry, provides tarnish resistance, and serves in the process of “silvering” surfaces for reflectors or searchlights or motion-picture projectors.  Rhodium can be combined with Platinum for high temperature crucibles and thermocouples.  In fact, rhodium always accompanies platinum in minerals, and achieves its distinctive red color in various compounds only when isolated from the crude platinum.  

Rhodium “possesses a high cross section or probability for the capture of neutrons with thermal energies” -- a fact which may be of some importance with respect to the ORME.  “Rhodium is almost as resistant as iridium to chemical attack by acids.  The massive metal is not dissolved by hot concentrated nitric or hydrochloric acid or even by aqua regia which dissolves gold and platinum.  The element dissolves in fused potassium hydrogen sulfate to yield a complex sulfate, soluble in water.”   

Iridium “is a precious white metal, one of the six platinum metals.  Its specific density, 22.56, is equaled by osmium; these metals are the densest terrestrial substances.  With a melting point of 2,450 oC, iridium is difficult to fuse.  It’s boiling point is estimated at above 4,800 oC.  The metal is hard and brittle; however, it becomes ductile and can be worked at a white heat, from 1,200 oC to 1,500 oC.”  

“Iridium is oxidized by a mixture of fused potassium hydroxide and potassium nitrate.  Iridium crucibles are superior to those of platinum because of their resistance to carbon and phosphorus at high temperatures.”  Supposedly, the pure element has no important applications, but is used with platinum for products requiring resistance to chemical attack and high-temperature electric sparks.  A platinum-iridium (9 to 1 ratio) alloy constitutes the international prototype standard meter of length and kilogram of mass.  “Iridium has also been used as a major component of precious metal tips on gold fountain pens.”  

Iridium is generally obtained from the native alloy, osmiridium, but is always found in small amounts in platinum-bearing ores.”  Apparently, the commonality of Rhodium and Iridium in forming useful alloys with platinum is significant.  


For our purposes, we are also interested particularly in the electronic and nuclear structure of these precious metals.  For example, from William H. Sullivan's Trilinear Chart of the Nuclides [2] and other sources, we have the following information:  

        Electronic Shell Structure:

                Ruthenium             [Kr] 4d-7, 5s-1                       Osmium  [Xe] 4f-14, 5d-6, 6s-2

                Rhodium                [Kr] 4d-8, 5s-1                       Iridium    [Xe] 4f-14, 5d-7, 6s-2

                Palladium              [Kr] 4d-10                              Platinum  [Xe] 4f-14, 5d-9, 6s-1

                Silver                      [Kr] 4d-10, 5s-1                   Gold        [Xe] 4f-14, 5d-10, 6s-1

        Nuclear Shell Structure (protons):

                Ruthenium             [Zr] 1g-4                                Osmium                 [Yb] 1h-6

                Rhodium                [Zr] 1g-5                                Iridium                    [Yb] 1h-7

                Palladium               [Zr] 1g-6                               Platinum                 [Yb] 1h-8

                Silver                      [Zr] 1g-7                               Gold                       [Yb] 1h-9

        Stable Isotopes:

                Ruthenium             96, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 104           (44 protons + the rest neutrons)

                Rhodium                103                                                         (45 protons + 58 neutrons)

                Palladium               102, 104, 105, 106, 108, 110            (46 protons + the rest neutrons)

                Silver                      107, 109                                               (47 protons + 60 or 62 neutrons)

                Osmium                  184, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 192   (76 protons + the rest neutrons)

                Iridium                    191, 193                                                (77 protons + 114 or 116 neutrons)

                Platinum 190, 192, 194, 195, 196, 198                             (78 protons + the rest neutrons)

                Gold                        197                                                         (79 protons + 118 neutrons)

The electronic shell structures are written as a core atom of Krypton [Kr] or Xenon [Xe] (both inert gases) with the listed electrons in the next outermost shells.  It should be noted that the heavier metals have their “4f” level filled as well, providing for an even larger inner, spherical “core”.  Chemically, 5 of the 8 elements have one electron in the outermost “s” shell, making them highly reactive.  The fact that the “d” shell is also unfilled in as many cases, also adds to the reactivity.  Gold and Silver stand out in particular with the outermost “d” shell filled, and one lone electron in the outer “s” shell.  The latter effect tends to make gold attract gold and silver attack silver!           

The nuclear shell structures are written with the core nuclei of Zirconium [Zr] and Ytterbium [Yb], with extra protons in the next outermost shells.  The “1g” level has room for 18 protons, but because of spin-orbit coupling is split into two levels, “1g 9/2” (up to 10 protons), and “1g 7/2” (up to an additional 8 protons).  Similarly, the “1h” level is split into “1h 11/2” (up to 12 protons) and “1h 9/2” (up to 10 more protons).  (See also the specific Nuclear Shell Structures of Rhodium, Iridium, Silver and Gold.)  

The number of stable isotopes is also highly significant, with the elements with an even number of protons having 6 or 7 stable isotopes, and the odd numbered elements having only 1 or 2.  All of the elements have protons in the outer shell, which when filled will complete a nuclear physics “magic number” -- 50 protons (Tin) indicating a shell closure for the lighter elements, and 82 protons (lead), the next shell closure for the heavier ones.

A Speculative Spin Theory  

Using the above information, an attempt has been made to construct a theory that would account for the variations in Superconductivity among the eight precious metals, and how these eight Precious Metals differ from other elements.   

Consider first the spin of a proton within a nucleus; in particular, the elements Rhodium (Rh) and Silver (Ag) with 45 and 47 protons, respectively.  According to the structure of the Nuclear Shell Model, these protons will be arranged such that the first 40 protons will fill the first through fifth shells (as in the Zirconium nucleus), corresponding to the “magic number” 40.  The remaining 5 and 7 protons will reside in, but not fill, the “1g9/2” sub-shell of the energy level (corresponding to an angular momentum of 4hW/2p -- h is Planck’s Constant). The 1g 9/2 level is limited, by way of the Pauli Exclusion Principle, to 10 protons, with spins of ±1/2, ±3/2, ±5/2, ±7/2, and ±9/2, i.e. 10 possible, distinct and exclusive spin orientations.           

Spin is a measure of angular momentum, such that a proton with a spin of +7/2 has more than twice the spin of a proton with -3/2, and a proton with spin of -7/2 has the same angular momentum as the +7/2 spin proton, but is opposite in direction.  For Rhodium, with 5 protons in the outer, unfilled shell of the nucleus, it is expected that these protons would have spins of +1/2, -1/2, +3/2, - 3/2, and ±5/2.  This would represent the “lowest” energy state, but could absorb energy whereby the 5 protons periodically increased and decreased their spin such that they filled the alternate ±5/2 level, plus any one of the ±7/2 and ±9/2 sub-levels.  In fact, 4 of the 5 protons could move to a higher energy level, while the fifth could simply flip its orientation. For Silver, the 7 protons would fill the +1/2, -1/2, +3/2, -3/2, +5/2, -5/2, and either the +7/2 or -7/2 level.  It would appear more likely for the extra protons of Silver to reach the ±9/2 level, than in the case of Rhodium, but there would be a less energetic or fewer protons involved in increasing their energy level.           

For Iridium and Gold, the first 70 protons fill the sub-shell level (at “3s 1/2”), and then have 7 and 9 protons, respectively, residing in, but not filling, the “1h 11/2” level.  The latter level has room for 12 protons, in the ±1/2, ±3/2, ±5/2, ±7/2, ±9/2, and ±11/2 sub-levels.  Because Gold has 2 more protons than Iridium, it would appear more likely for the outer protons of Gold to reach the ±9/2 and ±11/2 sub-levels, but Iridium has the potential for a greater energy change, with more protons achieving high energy levels.  (Note that Gold will always have at least one proton in the ±9/2 or ±11/2 sub-level.)  

Assumption One: 

Greater Intrinsic Spin Implies Greater Probability of a High Spin Nuclear State  

Let us assume that spin orientations of ±9/2 are much more likely to result in Superdeformation of Nuclei (than spin orientations of ±1/2, ±3/2, ±5/2, and ±7/2), and that spin orientations of ±11/2 are even more likely to result in superdeformations (more so than in the ±9/2 case).  In effect, the higher the spin (± being equally likely),  the greater the distance of the proton from the center of the nucleus, and thus the more likely the case of superdeformations and high spin.  In addition, with more protons capable of easily moving to higher and greater energy levels, the more likely the case for superdeformation.  

There is also the possibility that increasing the intrinsic spin of a proton (about its own axis) would result in a decrease in the orbital spin of that proton, which could show up in the orbit being closer to the center of the nucleus.  Mathematically, the change in energy due to the chance in intrinsic spin (DEs) times the change in energy due to the change in orbital spin (DEo) would equal a constant.  Thus, as the proton increased its intrinsic spin, it would decrease its orbital spin, resulting in its being closer to the center of the nucleus, and thus more likely to result in a high spin nucleus            

Applying this theoretical concept implies the Rhodium nucleus has “5 proton candidates” for the ±9/2 state, while Silver has “7 proton candidates”.  Silver is thus more likely to have more protons in the higher intrinsic spin states, and on this count alone may be superior to Rhodium in terms of achieving the high spin nuclear state necessary for superconductivity.  Rhodium, however, has more distinct energy changes, and thus may find itself more likely to achieve the superdeformation of its nucleus. At a higher level, Iridium would have “7 candidates” for the ±11/2 spin state, while Gold would have “9 candidates”, implying that Gold would be on the one hand superior to Iridium, again in terms of achieving the high spin nuclear state necessary for superconductivity, while Iridium would be more likely on the basis of more possible energy shifts.           

Implicit in Assumption One is that the protons of the outer unfilled shell of a given nucleus will be in a state of flux, changing their spin orientations by increasing, for example, from +3/2 to +7/2, or -5/2 to -7/2, or by decreasing, for example, from -9/2 to -3/2.  If one looks at it from the viewpoint of all the protons in the outer unfilled shell continually moving from one spin-orientation to another, subject only to the Pauli Exclusion Principle (i.e. two protons can not occupy any one spin state at the same time), then the distribution of the protons in the various spin states becomes statistical, and one can speak of the incidents of a proton being in a ±9/2 spin state (or ±11/2 spin state for the heavier elements) as having a specific probability.  (This is in keeping with the probabilistic nature of Quantum Mechanics.)  Thus, Rhodium has a lower probability than Silver of having proton(s) in the ±9/2 state, while, at the same time, Iridium has a lower probability than Gold of having proton(s) in the ±9/2 and ±11/2 state.  Obviously, Iridium has a greater probability than Rhodium of having proton(s) in the ±9/2 state, while at the same time, Iridium can also have proton(s) in the ±11/2 state (Rhodium's protons cannot reach that state at all).  The same applies between Silver and Gold, with Gold being much more likely to achieve the high spin nuclear state which is necessary for superconductivity.           

But what of elements such as Niobium, Molybdenum, Technetium, Ruthenium, Palladium, Cadmium, Indium, and Tin?  All of these elements are in the same area of the Periodic Chart as Rhodium and Silver.  The same question also applies to Osmium, Platinum, Mercury and the other elements in the same category of Iridium and Gold.  To distinguish Rhodium and Silver, Iridium and Gold from the other metals and “precious metals” (particularly Ru, Pd, Os, and Pt), we need two other assumptions.

Assumption Two: 

Probability of a High Spin Nuclear State Depends upon the Relative Likelihood

of Movement of Protons in and out of the Higher Intrinsic Spin States  

The first and primary assumption is that it is not the mere existence of proton(s) being in the ±9/2 and ±11/2 spin states, but the movement of the protons in and out of these higher spin states.  The fact the protons are taking on the higher intrinsic spins and then returning to lower spins may represent a critical difference in the ability of the metals to achieve superconductivity while in their monoatomic forms.             

Such elements as Niobium and Technetium, or Lutetium and Tantalum, with only 1 and 3 protons in the unfilled shell of the nucleus would have much lower probabilities of having proton(s) in the higher intrinsic spin states, and thus would also have much lower probabilities of having movement into and out of the, for example, ±9/2 (and in the latter case of the heavier elements, into and out of the ±11/2) spin states.  Note also that the elements with nearly or completely filled shells, such as Indium (9 protons in a 10 proton capacity shell), Tin (with its shell filled at the magic number of 50 protons), Thallium (11 protons out of 12), and Lead (with its shell filled at the magic number of 82 protons)... These elements would have much less or zero movement in and out of the higher spin states, because of their nearly filled or completely filled shells.  This movement between spin states may be extremely important.

Assumption Three: 

Elements with an Odd Number of Protons are Less Stable and thus More Likely

to Result in Movement into and out of Higher Intrinsic Spin States.  

But what of the elements Palladium and Platinum, located in the intermediate position between Rhodium and Silver, and Iridium and Gold, respectively?  To account for this variance, we might add a corollary to our assumption of movement in and out of the higher intrinsic spin states being important.   

The third assumption is that in the case of an odd number of protons (where there is a failure of the intrinsic spins to be evenly balanced between + and -), the odd number may contribute to an instability such that the movement of the protons between intrinsic spin states is increased.  This goes back to our puzzlement as to where to put the 5th proton of Rhodium in the lowest angular momentum configuration (±5/2), and in the same manner, the 7th proton of Silver (in the ±7/2 configuration).  In effect, an even number of protons in the outermost shell of a nucleus, has a higher probability of having the intrinsic spins balanced.  This leads to greater stability, and thus, less movement between intrinsic spin states.  With less movement, one is less likely to achieve the high spin nuclear state, and thus less likely to reach a superconducting state.


In summary, when this admittedly highly speculative spin theory is incorporated into what determines the probability of an element achieving the High Spin Nuclear state necessary for Superconductivity, we find the following requirements:  

                        1.  The likelihood of Superdeformation of Nuclei due to asymmetric, non-spherical distribution of nucleons (potentially, only protons) caused by deviations from the stable, filled nuclear shells (“the core”) with the less-tightly bound nucleons in the outer, unfilled shells;  

                        2.  The existence of the nuclei of the element in microclusters and, more importantly, in the form of Monoatomic Elements, freed from the confines of a lattice structure of the same or diverse elements -- such that they are more likely to undergo superdeformations of nuclei;  

                        3.  The increased probability of protons in the outer, unfilled shell of the monoatomic nucleus to reside in the higher intrinsic spin states -- with the relative probability dependent upon higher spin states having a greater probability than lower spin states.  (For example, ±11/2 spin states  would have a greater likelihood than ±9/2; ±9/2 > ±7/2; ±7/2 > ±5/2, etceteras.)  

                        4.  The likelihood or intensity of movement (transitions) of protons in and out of the higher intrinsic spin states, particularly the ±9/2 and ±11/2 spin states.  This movement would depend upon:

                                     a) the relative occupation of available spin states in the unfilled  shell (which is related to the number of protons available for movement, and the number of unoccupied states), and

                                    b) whether or not the number of protons in the unfilled shell of the nucleus was an even number (lending to greater stability and thus less chance of achieving a high spin state) or an odd number, (which would be inherently less stable and,  thus, more likely to cause movement of the protons).

An element having a nuclear shell structure which approaches one of the “magic numbers” may also be important.  Silver, for example, needs only 3 protons to fill the shell at the magic number of 50, and Gold, only 3 protons to complete the shell at the magic number of 82.  (Note also that the next, higher shell number, where spins of ±13/2 (in the “1i13/2” shell) would require over 112 protons, and there are no such elements which occur naturally in nature.)   

Neutrons do not appear to be a critical factor in the superconductivity prognosis, other than in “lending weight” to the potential for superdeformation.  On the other hand, there is always the strong possibility that neutrons will contribute some important, but currently unknown, factor or factors.  Another form of spin-orbit coupling with variations occurring from interactions with the higher intrinsic proton spins may also prove to be significant as the theoretical understanding advances.    


Growth Structures         Nuclear Shell Model         ORME

Forward to:

ORME Biology          Scientific Literature         Star Fire

The Philosopher’s Stone         Ark of the Covenant



[1]  Laurence Gardner, Lost Secrets of the Sacred Ark, HarperCollins, London, 2003.

[2] William H. Sullivan, Trilinear Chart of the Nuclides, Atomic Energy Commission, January 1957 (as updated).



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