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Irish Company Claims Free Energy (Slashdot August 21, 2006)

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MPI APPLAUDS IRISH SCIENTIFIC CHALLENGE

Posted Aug. 19, 2006

A Dublin, Ireland based Intellectual Property licensing firm, Steorn, has challenged the scientific community. In an advertisement published in the current issue of “The Economist? the firm calls for twelve skeptical scientists to come forward and test their claim to have achieved more output than input, “Over Unity,? in magnetic machines. Steorn promises to publish the results whatever the conclusions, in a future issue of the magazine.

Directory:Magnetic Power Inc (MPI) applauds the challenger! As MPI is also a developer of magnetic devices which deliver electric power without fuel, and without breaking the basic laws of physics. MPI is glad to see that Steorn’s challenge is being taken seriously by the scientific community. “Our own laboratory results confirm what Steorn is saying,? said MPI’s Mark Goldes, Chairman and CEO of the company based in Sebastopol, California.

Given the urgent need for breakthrough energy systems, Goldes hopes the challenge will, as Steorn says, enable them to take less than the projected “five to seven years for the world to accept the possibility of superseding existing energy technology with magnetic systems.?

On their website: http://www.steorn.com the company claims that the new technology can eventually power everything from cell phones to automobiles. The site also contains a five minute video that explains why they have published the advertisement. One reason is the apparent violation of Conservation of Energy, a fundamental axiom of physics, which makes it hard for scientists to accept the emerging science of magnetic energy technology.

Goldes’ enthusiasm for his Irish colleagues’ scientific efforts supports his hopes that success by the Irish Group will take the mystery out of fuel-free magnetic systems that can operate around the clock. This will speed the ability of Magnetic Power Modules™ to attract the financial resources needed to commercialize these systems as rapidly as is humanly possible, in order to meet the environmental chaos threatened by global warming (not to mention the high cost of fuel).

MPI Not So Enthusiastic After Botched Orbo Demo

On July 6, 2007, Mark Goldes, Chairman & CEO of Magnetic Power, Inc., wrote:

The Dublin, Ireland based Intellectual Property licensing firm, Steorn, challenged the scientific community and claimed they would demonstrate a magnetic machine in London. They have now postponed the widely publicized event. http://pesn.com/2007/07/05/9500478_Orbo_Demo

In an advertisement published [last August] in "The Economist" they called for skeptical scientists to come forward and test their claim to have achieved more output than input, "Over Unity," in magnetic machines. Steorn then selected 22 scientists for that jury. They promise to publish the results, perhaps early next year, in a future issue of the magazine.

Directory:Magnetic Power Inc (MPI) is saddened by the sequence of events and postponement of the widely publicized public demonstration in London. MPI is also a developer of magnetic devices which deliver electric power without fuel. However, we do not claim to break any laws of physics. MPI hopes that Steorn will rapidly show evidence that their work has merit.

Based on our own work, we have believed that Steorn’s claims were credible. We hope they will rapidly demonstrate that to be the case. If they succeed in doing so, their efforts will benefit all firms developing practical magnetic conversion technology.

With a two trillion dollar world market for energy, MPI will be helped, rather than hurt, by their success.

Given the urgent need for breakthrough energy systems, MPI hopes that their future efforts will, as Steorn says, enable them to take less than the projected "five to seven years for the world to accept the possibility of superseding existing energy technology with magnetic systems."

On their website: http://www.steorn.com the company claims that the new technology can eventually power everything from cell phones to automobiles. The site also contains short videos that explain why they have published the advertisement and their explanation for the debacle in London.

The first video discusses the apparent violation of Conservation of Energy, a fundamental axiom of physics, which makes it so difficult for scientists to accept the emerging science of magnetic energy technology.

MPI enthusiasm for our Irish colleagues' has been dampened, but we hope that they will recover and provide evidence that their magnetic systems are indeed capable of the performance they claim.

We continue to develop our own Magnetic Power Modules™ and plan to commercialize these revolutionary power generating systems as rapidly as is humanly possible. Practical magnetic systems of this nature can help reduce dependence on oil, coal and nuclear fuel.

They will also assist the ability to meet the extraordinary challenge of the recently announced eight year window, within which humans must sharply reduce the use of fossil fuels, in order to mitigate the dire, life threatening, threats posed by global warming.

For more information, contact Mark Goldes, CEO (707) 829-9391

magneticpower@gmail.com

How Steorn Works

How Steorn's Motor works – possibly...Part I

''On February 10, 2010 4:04 AM Mountain, Gordon Docherty wrote:

From my understanding of Steorn's motor (from observation and from Jean-Louis Naudin's replications), I believe Steorn's Motor works using magnetic interaction between magnets on the rotor and wire-wrapped ferrite cores on the stator, as follows:

As the neodymium rotor magnets approach the ferrite cores on the stator they induce in the cores magnetism of opposite polarity. If this was all that happened, however, the rotor magnets would simply lock onto the stator ferrite cores, oscillating over them until the rotor came to a stop. This is where, I believe, the wire wraps (toroidal coils) come into play. When the centres of the neodymium magnets on the motor align with the centres of the ferrite cores, the Steorn motor sends a sharp pulse through the toroidal coils to initially neutralize and then reverse the magnetic orientation of the ferrite - as the magnetic fields of the toroidal coils themselves do not extend outside of the coils (a well known phenomena) they do not interact with the rotor in any way. It is just the ferrite core magnetism extending outside the coil that interacts with the rotor - and this is now set to repulse the rotor magnets. So, with the magnetism of the ferrite cores now reversed, the p! assing rotor magnets are "kicked away". Once the rotor magnets have passed over and moved around a little, the current in the toroidal coils is switched off. This causes the ferrite cores to rapidly revert to their initial state, so once more acting to attract the (now approaching) rotor magnets. As an aside, switching the current in the coils on and off sharply improves the performance of the magnetic system - and matches the observation of the need for a larger battery to deliver a current jolt quickly and consistently. In this way, it looks like the Steorn set-up is achieving asymmetric re-gauging (as defined by Tom Bearden). The only other observation to note is that, in order to get the timing right for switching the current in the coils on and off as the speed of the rotor changes, some form of rotational counter is needed (say, black shading for when the current should be on, white when off). Something like this is also shown on the Steorn diagrams of the motor! .

So, it would appear that current is only required in the driver circuit for those parts of the rotation where the rotor magnets are passing directly over the ferrite cores - the Steorn motor only uses current to break the symmetry between the rotor magnets and stator cores, not to drive the rotor as such. Further, the alignment of the centres of the magnetic pairs on the rotor with the mid-point cross-sections of each coil on the stator reduces inductance in the toroidal stator coils while the magnets are approaching the coil, so reducing the energy required to "power up" the coils to cancel out the magnetism induced in the soft iron as the rotor magnets approach.

– End of Part I –

How Steorn's Motor works – possibly...Part II

''On February 10, 2010 4:04 AM Mountain, Gordon Docherty wrote:

Adding a traditional generator to the rotor (such that the driving and generator circuits are distinct) would then allow for electricity to be generated on a continuous basis (i.e. using the whole rotation) while the motor only needed current to be applied for part of the rotation (say, a third). It is therefore possible - and even highly probable - that the combined system would produce more (useful) energy out on the generator circuit than is put in by the driving circuit, without degrading the neodymium rotor magnets, thus realizing a Coefficient of Production (COP) greater than 1 and even overunity (where energy lost through heat loss is taken into account) - at least, from the driving circuit's perspective.

If this is the case, even before improvements have been made by commercial partners (which, I've no doubt, will boost the power and utility of the motor enormously, much as was seen in the early days of "traditional" electric motor development), should this easily replicable motor not be being put in front of policy makers (and school kids, the policy makers of tomorrow) now to firstly scotch the myth that practicable over-unity is not possible (so making it possible for policy makers to actual start thinking about funding overunity research in the future!) and secondly to put flesh on the bones of the idea that we really can reduce our reliance on carbon fuels significantly, so allowing oil to be used for much better purposes than just for burning, such as medicines, (new) materials, lubricants, growing food, etc. as well as (finally) providing the means for poor countries to draw water from the ocean for crops and drinking - or, are we happy simply to burn the planet up???!

– End –

Skeptics

No shortage, as usual. Most of the news stories above bias on skepticism. Below are major skeptical contributions, as reflected in the title of their piece.

Yet Another Free Energy Farce - free-energy plan #12,255,740! True to class, they’ve ... (James Randi Educational Foundation Aug. 25, 2006)

Rebuttal : Steorn's approach is hardly typical of other claims that have come forth (whether or not those have any validity). (1) They are an established company with a reputation to maintain (2) they have a full business team, each with individual reputations to maintain (3) they were not looking for "free energy" but stumbled on it (4) they insist on academic collaboration, both having invited some 100 institutions to review it, few of whom would come, and those who did refused to go on the record, so they went very public with their request to the academic community to test and then publish their findings, whatever they are (5) they have adequate capital from their other endeavors to finance this research and development (6) they are paying all expenses for the jury process (7) they are not accepting any moneys or licensing agreements UNTIL validation is achieved by the academic community (8) they have built numerous test rigs of high workmanship to analyze various components of their system. Each one of these highly notable attributes sets them apart from the parade of which you speak. -- SilverThunder 10:10, 10 Sep 2006 (EDT)

Yes, But... : The problem as I see it, is that this firm (Steorn) seems to have several of the key telling signs that we see in all these free energy scams. 1. When I go to their web site and click on management, I do not get a list of key people that work for the firm. Now compare that to a site like TeslaMotors where all the management is listed. 2. They claim that their main business is making anti counterfeiting devices, but when I try to find such devices on their web site, I can find none. 3. They seem obsessed with all the attention they are receiving = 3000 scientists and 64k hits etc, etc. 4. Sean has been asked several times in the forum section wether this device can run on it's own without being plugged in and he evades the question each time. He does not state a simple Yes, or No? He now says that he will post a FAQ section next week to answer all the most common questions. So we should know the answer to this question by the 15th of September, right? 5. The firm first stated that they were not looking for investors. Then this stance changed to: "only after it is tested". Am I the only one who thinks this sounds like a marketing ploy to lead people on? 6. What does this firm currently gross each year from their line of current products? How long have they been in business?? So many questions and so little hard facts. (posted by informed on Sep 10, 06 - 12:01 PM)

A thought occurs to me on looking at the photograph of the device why is it so 'over-engineered'? Any physicist would use a more open 'breadboard' set-up. Why the relatively massive girders? I trust that the scientific jury will look carefully at them, just in case they contain concealed batteries, compressed air or such-like. Art Dent.

Dr. Mike Observations: It's all in Sean's Head

On July 11, 2007, a skeptic from the Stoern forum who was invited to the London demo, provided the following assessment:

I will write up a full report and post it on my own web site in a few days. I wrote something on the plane which is good but not complete. I suspect one could write a

book about all the experiences we've had here.

My opinion - and it really is only my opinion - is that Sean lives in a world of delusion. His greatest strength is the ability of convince people of things, and it is also his greatest weakness. I am certain that Sean has seen a "start - stop" device operating. That it never existed outside his mind doesn't matter.

There are a lot of questions that remain unanswered, but let's look at a few simple ones.

Why would Steorn send a skeptical forum rep to see their core technology if Steorn did not really believe it? As others have pointed out, if this were a hoax or scam, something would have worked. From my direct observations of the people, there is true belief here.

Why would Sean claim that 5 bearings were broken and he sent someone to Eindhoven to get more? Because he saw it happen. Like the story about the famous mathematician who talked to people nobody else could see (the movie was "A Beautiful Mind") I think Sean has really seen things work. The rest of us never will.

Sean said at one point that the jury validation was the most important thing to Steorn. At this point I think the jury is also in his mind. He probably talks to them often. 'He did say they have not seen any devices.' How could he have a demo, have the jury be the most important thing to the company, and not have had any jury member see anything? Because nothing exists.

As I said, there are a great many details and questions to answer, and probably we'll never get answers to the more interesting ones. It was an honor and a privledge to have met everyone here and at Kinetica and I will do my best to get all the parts back to everyone who loaned me stuff and made it possible for me to help out.

June 22, 2009 Jury Unanimously Finds Against Steorn

--Penny Gruber 01:34, 23 June 2009 (PDT)

On June 21, 2009 Steorn's 22 member jury unanimously found that Steorn had failed to show any energy production from their devices.

Jury Announcement - Posted June 21, 2009 ( Original posting errantly stated January 20, 2009 ).

::The unanimous verdict of the Jury is that Steorn's attempts to demonstrate the claim have not shown the production of energy.

Steorn acknowledges the jury's findings but in contradiction to their 2006 statements claim to be proceeding with launch of a product despite the verdict. Steorn's news page notes:

::Jury Report

::A blog has been set up by the members of the Steorn jury

With a click through to the actual piece.

Steorn News Page

Clicking through to the article Steorn quote CEO Sean McCarthy as stating "fully understood the frustration of the Jury members with respect to the time the process was taking."

Steorn's description of jury frustration is in stark contrast to three years ago when in 2006 when Steorn insisted their free energy claims were "Always proven to work". At that time Steorn claimed that their problem was getting scientists who had seen the effect to go on record. Steorn insisted they needed to anger the scientific world into giving Steorn a serious look.

After two and a half years of giving Steorn precisely the serious look they sought, the jury experts picked by Steorn themselves unanimously concluded that Steorn never demonstrated anything that generates ( creates ) energy. The jury's chairperson R.I. MacDonald posted the jury results to stjury.ning.com June 21. He errantly posted that the jury had concluded Jan. 20, 2009.

Steorn's response claims that the jury ended its work in late 2008. Steorn also claim that "during 2009 the company ( Steorn ) resolved the key technical problems related to the implementation of Orbo". Steorn offered no explanation of why in two and a half years they were unable to demonstrate the effect they had for years claimed was "always proven to work". Neither have Steorn explained why if they overcame their problems as stated, the jury still found Steorn unable to demonstrate energy production.

The jury's chairperson Dr. MacDonald explained that the jury only stopped work this last week on June 21, 2009:

::Nobody felt threatened. The process stopped on 21 June when the announcement was posted. The jury is not privy to Steorn's plans.

::The date of the original announcement was an error I have now corrected.

::R.I.MacDonald

MacDonald comments on jury process

Steorn's comments can be found here:

Steorn Jury Report - Posted June 22, 2009.

Full text of Steorn's response:

::Jury Report

::Steorn today confirmed that the internet ‘blog’ stjury.ning.com had been posted on behalf of members of the Jury of scientists that Steorn had engaged to conduct an independent review of its Orbo Technology.

::In a statement, Steorn CEO, Sean McCarthy said that “he was grateful to the Jury members for the time and effort that they had devoted to the process.”

::McCarthy continued on to state that he “fully understood the frustration of the Jury members with respect to the time that the process was taking. Implementing Orbo in a reliable and consistent manner had remained a challenge for the organization, one that we had made no secret of. Due to these difficulties we had focused on providing the Jury with test data relating to the underlying magnetic effect behind Orbo. This work concluded at the end of 2008.”

::McCarthy concluded by stating that “during 2009 the company had resolved the key technical problems related to the implementation of Orbo and is now focused on commercial launch towards the end of this year, at which time academic and engineering validation would be released concurrent with public demonstrations.

Not all of the original jurors stuck through the two and half year process. Others have elected not to publish bios on the jury blog site. Dr. MacDonald explains 16 juror bios on the jury site instead of 22.

Note: The Jury's site has since been taken offline.

Comments

Does anyone know thier US or GB patent application number / US or GB patent number?

The link http://www.freeenergynews.com/Directory/Electromagnetic/Steorn/US2006066428A1.pdf is dead ...

Reddi 17:12, 19 Sep 2006 (EDT)

Correction: http://www.freeenergynews.com/Directory/MagneticMotors/Steorn/US2006066428A1.pdf

-- SilverThunder 21:20, 19 Sep 2006 (EDT)

Sean McCarthy at Steorn has said on several occasions that the Low Energy Magnetic Actuator (LEMA) patent (pictured at the top of the page to the right) has nothing to do with the over unity technology, and actually explained a few reasons why, although attractive, it does not work for that purpose. The LEMA was actually intended to reduce the effort required to engage and disengage magnetic clamps on an optical workbench.

http://www.steorn.net/forum/comments.php?DiscussionID=22962&page=1#Item_0

-- jcims 21:19, 03 Nov 2006 (EDT)

Hey - why has Steorn slipped to nr. 9 in the top 100? Their process is on schedule - the jury of 12 high powered scientists is right now working on test rigs supplied by Steorn to confirm over-unity - what other similar claim can be made by companies of comparable promise?

--Hdeasy 04:57, 14 Jan 2007 (EST)

Can anyone tell me why it is better for Steorn to progress down the infuriating route they are taking now, rather than building the Steornmobile, parading it round the place THEN saying 'lookey what we got'. Even the most skeptical of scientists - even my grandmother - would believe their claim once they got a Ford Escort to trundle round a track for a week without stopping for fuel.

It just seems like there are far more... impressive... ways to break this news to the world in general. If they were a little less confident in their press releases and their community interaction I could understand this cautious approach - it makes sure you don't look completly stupid - but they seem completly convinced.

-- 0ddb411 22:46, 14 Feb 2007 (EST)

Patent Demo Proposal by Brian Hafner

On Sept. 1, 2006, Brian Hafner writes:

I have been reviewing the Steorn Patent and came up with a simple machine to demonstrate this technology. Review it and ask questions if there is any thing that is not clear. Not a scale drawing. Sorry.

Image:MagPowerAmp Brian Hafner 500.gif

Simplified explanation as three pictures

"A round magnet, sitting flush in a rotor N facing one side, S facing the other side of the rotor, moves past a stator magnet showing N toward the rim of the rotor. On aproach of the rotor magnet attraction is happening when the S of the rotor magnet sees the N of the stator magnet beeing on that side of the rotor. The rotor goes on revolving as the stator is moved to the rim there is no sticking because the the attraction and repelling is equaled out. On revolving further the stator shows its repelling side to the rotor magnet and gives it a further kick.

The second magnet on the rotor must be turned in relation to the other, because when it is aproaching the stator magnet, it should be attracted... the process runs reverse. We come back to the first position of rotor and stator" (from [steorn forum]

Image:Steorn-effect.gif
Image:Untitleduz7.png
Image:Steorn effect V2.gif

Quotes

zpenergy.com - August 25th 2006

:"I think the point that we're making is that this publicity stunt, and it is a publicity stunt, has one direct aim, and that is to grab the attention of the scientific world really to get them angry enough to have to deal with this.

:The question we're asking is an honest question to the world of science: either prove this works or prove it doesn't work - whatever you find, and to also make absolutely sure the answer is put into the public domain. As far as we're concerned, we're not asking a question we don't know the answer to."

:- Sean McCarthy, CEO of Steorn - about violating the first Law of Thermodynamics.

:"Our position on this is that we don't expect anybody in the general public to believe us at this point," McCarthy said. "We're just asking people to believe the process [of the audit.] We're saying that at the end of this process, the answer is going to be published whether we're right or wrong."

:- Sean McCarthy, CEO of Steorn - about challenging, with public skeptical scientist testing, the first Law of Thermodynamics.

:"Yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak with Sean McCarthy, Chief Executive Officer of Steorn, and ask every question that I could think of. My conclusion at the end of our talk is that I have no idea what to make of all this. However, I can say that McCarthy was very direct and forthcoming with me.

:Steorn has issued a bold challenge to the physics establishment, and this establishment will not acquiesce without a fight.

:I predict that none of us will know whether this claim is valid for months, perhaps years. If the company's panel of experts determines that the claim demonstrates new science, the remaining question is, Who will pay attention to it and who will ignore it?"

:- Steve Krivit (zpenergy.com)

Times Online - August 28th 2006

:"If I am proved wrong, this company is out of business and I will never work in this town again," he said.

:Sean McCarthy

:"“The seekers after perpetual motion are trying to get something from nothing.?

:Sir Isaac Newton

Forum post compilations

(from Hoyt A. Stearns Jr.@vortex-list)

If you wade thru the thousands of posts in the steorn forum, it's obvious that Sean McCarthy is trying to provide much of the information necessary to build his device without compromising his patent applications. There are even summaries of what he's said.

It's 7.5 watts/gram

It's 0.5 watts/cm^3 for the electrical generator version, about 10 times that for the mechanical output version.

Reversing it absorbs energy and it doesn't get hot.

It doesn't use magnetic shielding or Halbach arrays.

It does require 3D geometry (can't run in a plane).

It probably uses magnetic viscosity, where the integrated force on a ferromagnetic material varies as the speed of approach or withdrawal.

They have a 550 horsepower prototype running.

Steorn implies their initial emphasis is on cell phone battery replacements.

They have a contract with a manufacturer to provide a small number of "High value demonstration units".

The energy is derived from the attraction phase in the center of the cycle.

The motion is not of constant speed.

If the scientific jury challenge had no takers, they would have build a Steorn car and paraded it around.

Skeptical view

Art Dent says:

Could we start, right here, a list of people who should be barred from 'jury duty'. This list will be in the best interests of Steorn because, if 'the usual suspects' are on the jury, nobody will take it seriously: even the most naive citizens will check them out on the web and see that their other beliefs extend - without a gap - into the paranormal, ufology and downright magic. My starter list, off the top of my head (please add more), is:

Harold Aspden

Harold Puthoff

Thomas Bearden

Thomas Phipps

Neal Graneau

Roger Jennison

...

plus anybody on the list at: http://peswiki.com/index.php/New_Energy_Congress#Members

:Rebuttal : This is a moot issue. The jury has been selected, and most likely includes none of these individuals.

::Yes, but it would still be pretty embarrassing if they had already been chosen, would it not? It would certainly show 'where Steorn are coming from'. Art Dent 07.02.2007

:::Good day Art Dent. I trust that you have done an immense amount of research into who and what type of people they originally announced they are looking for. They are not looking for Free Energy Scientists. They are looking for SKEPTICAL Scientists. Please think for a while, are Harold Aspden, Tom Bearden, Tom Valone, skeptical scientists regards free energy and overunity? Well, are they? I regret to inform you that they are NOT skeptical scientists, therefore Steorn would not be interested in using them. Steorn from day 1 have announced that they are looking for Skeptical Scientists, who have the required pedigree to be taken seriously, no matter which way the results are. Esa Ruoho 18.38 (GMT+2), 07.02.2007

The first problem is that skeptic is such a 'weasel word' it means different things to different people. Aspden et al. would be the first to call themselves skeptics: skeptical about relativity, the conservation laws, etc. Secondly, Steorn may not want to attract people like them - but they are the only ones who will turn up, or be chosen. Thirdly, pedigree means nothing. Take Professor Brian Josephson, for instance. He was one of the youngest-ever Nobel-prize winners (physics), and even has an effect named after him. However, he 'endorsed' one of Professor (sic) Eric Laithwaite's ludicrous anti-gravity gyroscope experiments and, if you want someone to back up (scientifically) your belief in telepathy, he's your man! There was once a then-famous mathematician called Chasles. He collected original letters written by historical personnages. He happily bought letters supposedly written personally (and often in modern French!) by Jesus, Buddha, etc. People like Chasles are still around today I bet that most of them are turning up at Steorn. Finally, I have indeed done a lot of research on Steorn much of it concerning their official company accounts. I shall post some of the more interesting facts elsewhere on this site. Art Dent.

More Comments

Steorn Kinetica Museum Presentation

Sean gave a presentation on the history of perpetual motion machines Tuesday which included a vid of one of their early working models. Here is one of the attendees' description of how it worked:

http://aycu25.webshots.com/image/8544/2001000266711370894_rs.jpg

The magnetic gradient created by the stator array is changed by shifting the array in the direction of the axis of rotation at the

correct moment allowing the attractive gradient to help lift the heavier weight and the repulsive gradient to help push the weight.

The claim is that the energy needed to shift the array is less than the energy created by the magnetic gradient.

This should be simple enough to test.

Did that 'history of perpetual motion' include the Spence case? Spence was a 19th-century fraudster who demonstrated a machine that supposedly worked by periodically shielding permanent magnets from each other. In fact, he used another (concealed) magnet to keep it going. Nevertheless, he managed to fool Sir David Brewster into publishing a scientific paper about his invention. I wonder whether Steorn will have the luck to attract an equally gullible and famous modern scientist.

Art Dent

Overunity

On Aug. 23, 2006, New Energy Congress member Congress:Member:Sterling D. Allan wrote:

"Overunity" is just a way of saying that there is more energy coming out of a system than was put into it. The implication is not that the excess comes ex nihilo, but rather, that it comes from a source external to the input.

What that external source is, is the question for physicists to grapple with. The practical/commercial question at present is whether the input:output is indeed in excess of 100%. In this case, the "input" is the amount of energy that was required to charge the magnets.

The next question is whether the input:output ratio is sufficient to be commercially feasible.

I personally envision the magnet motor to be to magnetic forces what a wind turbine is to wind. It merely harnesses a system in flux that hitherto has not been known to be in flux. Seon McCarthy, CEO of Steorn, agreed that this is a plausible model.

Skeptical view

I think that Mr Allan is just playing with definitions. Everybody knows that 'over-unity' is just the polite word for 'perpetual motion'. By his definition, every automobile engine becomes over-unity: much more energy comes out of the petrol than was put in by the ignition spark. Of course one can tap energy out of thin air the electric potential difference between your head and your feet is of the order of several hundred volts, and this can be used to run a motor. However, the currents involved are minute, and so the energy available is also very very small it might takes decades just to pay off the cost of the equipment. Even the energy of a lightning bolt is modest (just a few Joules) - many people (especially journalists) cannot distinguish between energy and power. Perhaps the people at Steorn have been deceived by a pure accident. There was a case reported some years ago of a mysteriously rotating 'tin can on a stick' situated on some waste ground. It turned out that cables from a hydroelectric plant passed below the can and that stray fields were making it rotate. Have Steorn checked that none of their neighnours is using high-intensity magnetic fields? Will the 'panel of scientists' look for such things, whether accidental or intended?

Art Dent

Would scientists miss opportunity for fame?

On Aug. 24, 2006, 'Casual Observer' wrote:

From the Steorn web page:

: "During 2005 Steorn embarked on a process of independent validation and approached a wide selection of academic institutions. The vast majority of these institutions refused to even look at the technology, however several did. Those who were prepared to complete testing have all confirmed our claims however none will publicly go on record."

Right ... so several professors tested a free energy device that overturns the laws of physics, and absolutely confirmed that it works, but somehow not one of them wanted the "burden" of being an instant Nobel prize winner / celebrity / millionaire? As someone who has worked at academic institutions for many years, I find such a statement laughable. Almost every faculty member I've ever known would leap at the opportunity for that sort of fame and fortune. For that matter, many of them would lie, cheat, or steal to get it. Steorn is peddling the same tired myth that free energy types love to repeat: that professors are part of some cabal sworn to protect scientific orthodoxy like some bunch of medieval priests. The truth is exactly the opposite: any professor would jump at the change to be the man / woman who re-wrote the textbooks and became a household name in physics and engineering.

Rebuttal : There is indeed a "new wine can't be put into old bottles" phenomenon in any sector of society, especially science. Old scientists guard their dogmas with a passion, and those who promote new science must be willing to fight a tremendous battle to overturn old ways of thinking. "Free Energy" has been painted with a very dark brush, and anyone in academia who speaks contrary to that will be accused of scientific heresy. This is human nature, and has been for as long as history has been recorded. It hasn't suddenly changed in our day. On top of that add the pressures of vested interests, such as oil, whose money finances the old school. Then you have politics on top of cantankerousness to contend with. It takes profound courage for someone to stand up to such forces, and until they published their invitation in The Economist, Steorn had not found such courage. -- SilverThunder 16:27, 24 Aug 2006 (EDT)

Skeptical view

I think that SilverThunder is failing to distinguish between new theories and new experimental evidence. It is true that scientists hang onto theories like grim death, and that is only to be expected because the mass of data supporting the new theory needs time to build up to the point where it out-weighs the evidence that supported the old theory. Note that no new theory can invalidate old evidence (under the conditions originally used to obtain it) it can only refine and re-interpret it. Thus, a further implication is that an order-of-magnitude improvement (at least) in the accuracy of the experimental measurements is required even to demonstrate any deviation from the old theory. New experimental evidence is an entirely different matter. If it can be replicated by anyone, then science will accept it almost 'overnight'. But replication is essential. Recall 2 fairly recent cases: cold-fusion, which was revealed directly to the Press (a la Steorn)and turned out to be bogus, and 'high-temperature' superconductivity, which was announced quietly to fellow scientists and was accepted by everyone, with hardly a ripple. It is true that cold-fusion was originally replicated by many reputable laboratories, but this was an example - as Casual Observer said - of certain academics doing anything to be 'in on the act'.

Just a little note

In Italian language, "orbo" means "blind". A hidden message?

See also

Directory:Steorn Free Energy - primary page, for which the above is commentary

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