This does not mean that the electron can not be pushed to lower orbits- closer to the nucleus, but this requires energy, it is endothermic.
So you're saying that when an excited electron falls to the "base" state it gives up energy (a photon), but if it were to fall to an even lower (fractional) state that it would absorb energy? That doesn't sound right.
I think what Dr. Mills claims is that although electrons at the base state can't give up a quantum of energy in the normal manner, his reactor causes the electron to drop a couple of levels by a different mechanism. When the electron does go to the lower level, it gives off a lot of energy. My summary could be wrong; I'm not a chemist....
you are stuck thinking linearly. The potential energy- kinetic energy relationship can be presented in many ways. The base though is that there is some minimal potential energy linked to some maximal kinetic energy or visa versa. If you drop a rock off a cliff it will convert its potential energy into kinetic energy and smack the ground with a certain force. If you climb a ladder on top of the cliff and then drop the rock it will have more kinetic energy and smak the ground harder, but you added the same potential energy difference as you climbed the ladder. The system under test has to be considered.
The so called ground state is the lowest potential energy in the system. As applied to a rock you can keep it simple as above, or you can delve deeply into the history of the universe- Big Bang, expansion, fusion, nucleosynthesis, radioactive half life, etc. The final results are much more complex but still the same. T%here is conservation of energy in the universe.
The ground state in an electron orbit around a nucleus is measured by looking at the energy input and extraction from the system- atom. This energy change results in hugely studied spectra. If the electron/ atom energy state -potential energy increases, it absorbs light- a dark spectral line. If the atom releases energy (potential energy-drops) a bright spectral line is emitted. The energy leaves the atom system into the larger room system via light emmision. That these absorptions and emmisions occur at dicreet energy levels is part of the foundation of quantum physics and it's description is what earned Einstein his Nobel Prize. The important point is that these energies are measured to very fine detail.
With current understanding there MUST be a spectral line emmision if energy is released. No where have I seen any indication of this with BLP.
There are all sorts of confounding spectral line considerations. Chemical bonds, and free electrons, etc. can release or absorb energy through various mechanisms. I am not sure all of these are discrete quanta, though I suspect the vast majority are. There is also much overlap in some wavelengths- for example, molecular bonds have energy changes that emmit or absorb in the infrared region. This is extremely complex, but still there is a huge amount of data available, even to the extent of widespread usage in chemical determinations of compounds by studing their spectal emmisions or absorption. At the BLP claimed energy levels the single electron changing it's orbit would need to release a huge amount of energy. If one photon then it would be well into the ultraviolet range or shorter. Either that of a bunch of photons would have to be released at once. This would result in a higher intensity light emmision- it is brighter, again no hiding the emmision irregardless if it is a single quanta as is implied by quantum physics, or if it is an analog emmision (like black body radiation). Either should be easily measurable with high precision.
So there are two elements to my disdain. One is the energy balance in the system. Like with Rossi, the claimed energy change is stupendous. Such changes have to have a corresponding stupendous energy release (or absorption). Such changes have to be very easy to measure conclusively, even with sloppy technique. There is no wiggle room. Contrast this with typical LENR claims or the current interest in the reactionless rocket engine. The magnitude of the claimed changes is so small that experimental setup and reasonable error margins can hide the results.
Secondly, the ground state is not some arbitrarily assigned value, It is experimentally determined to high precision and has supporting theory, Such as the Pauly Exclusion Principle.
And finally, if this reaction exists as described, why is it not seen in that great laboratory known as nature (or the universe as we know it)!
To error is human... and I'm very human.