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Free energy!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 75 ✭✭✭ m3hm3t


    as some body said, france also has projects about free energy, i also heart same story from 2 or 3 turkish enerjy firms, one is with magnets and wind, other one is with small bit energy(lika generating 220 watt from 1 watt with a device) other one is using some different kind of batterys for house or others, there is one metarial used in almost everything , it is called bor or baron, turkey has 90 % of it in the world, and they are making batterys from it for house and factorys whic is promising 90% saving from electrcy bills, and turkish company making it called vestel, maybe one of you heard this, or there international name SEG i think , if anybody wants more info about them, i can check there websites, they are also waiting for validation from goverment,


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,164 ✭✭✭ cavedave


    Another day another free energy video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kKtKSEQBeI

    http://www.wpbf.com/news/13383827/detail.html

    Who knew breaking the second law of thermodynamics could be so easy?:D

    What seems to be happening here is microwaves heat up the water enough to release the hydrogen which then burns. Does this sound right? What sort of effiecency could this have?


  • Registered Users Posts: 75 ✭✭✭ m3hm3t


    it is not free energy , how many watts does his RF generator consume to make hydrogen?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,164 ✭✭✭ cavedave


    it is not free energy
    hence the sarcastic
    Who knew breaking the second law of thermodynamics could be so easy?
    how many watts does his RF generator consume to make hydrogen?
    or in other words
    What sort of effiecency could this have?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,174 mathias


    By the looks of things Steorns idea could be based on this ,

    http://www.cheniere.org/

    http://www.cheniere.org/correspondence/010702a.htm


    Barking mad or what ?

    http://www.cheniere.org/correspondence/010702a.htm

    And how come Tesla keeps getting brought into these things , so many of these Sci Fi theorys keep dragging his name into it ?

    This is the patent ( Beardens not Steorns ) and has a description along with an electrical circuit and timings ,

    http://www.cheniere.org/references/MEG_Patent.pdf


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 569 Ice_Box


    Steorn news.

    http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/mhkfqlojgbcw/


    Irish firm to put free-energy machine on display today
    04/07/2007 - 08:20:59

    The Irish company which claims to have designed a machine that creates energy from thin air is due to put the technology on display today.

    Steorn claims its Orba device uses the interaction of magnetic fields to generate a constant source of free and clean energy.

    If true, the technology would defy the laws of physics.

    It is currently being tested by 22 of the world's top scientists, who are expected to conclude their review sometime next year.

    In the meantime, Steorn is putting the Orba on display in London and on the Internet later today.


    I thought it was called Orbo and not Orba. I simply have to see this demo though. Im going to London.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,164 ✭✭✭ cavedave


    Hopefully this demonstration does not kill anyone (that has happened before)


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 59,990 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Tar.Aldarion


    Ooh, interested to hear more about what they intend to come out with.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 569 Ice_Box




  • Registered Users Posts: 2,164 ✭✭✭ cavedave


    These clowns demonstration did not work today. They blamed the heat of lights rather then the second law of thermodynamics.

    Does anyone else think this is probably some sort of performance art project? A Marxist critique of the gullibility of the media or some such?


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  • Administrators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,538 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ oscarBravo


    orbo_wheel.jpg

    :D:D:D


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,164 ✭✭✭ cavedave


    I have a question about breaking scientific laws. You cannot as far as I have been told. But take Newtons laws of motion. Why is plutonium allowed to break this? When you combine two subcritical masses of plutonium quickly the reaction is alot more then "equal and opposite".

    How is it that this can be explained? presumably it is something to do with the reaction still being equal and opposite mechanical effect but being overtaken by a nuclear reaction. How is this "breaking" of physical laws allowed?


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,443 ✭✭✭✭ bonkey


    cavedave wrote:
    I have a question about breaking scientific laws. You cannot as far as I have been told.
    You've been told wrong.
    But take Newtons laws of motion. Why is plutonium allowed to break this? When you combine two subcritical masses of plutonium quickly the reaction is alot more then "equal and opposite". How is it that this can be explained? presumably it is something to do with the reaction still being equal and opposite mechanical effect but being overtaken by a nuclear reaction. How is this "breaking" of physical laws allowed?
    While I'm not entirely sure that yoru example is a violation of the laws you mention, we know that Newtonian physics is - strictly speaking - incorrect.

    To be more accurate, Newtonian physics give us a relatively accurate model within certain boundaries and tolerances. This is good enough, for example, to build a car, but probably not to put a satellite into orbit.

    That we generally refer to Newtonian Physics as "Newton's Laws" is just a form of nomenclature.

    I was reading an article from SciAm recently, where I came across what is perhaps the best clarification of this point I have seen yet:

    Many people learned in elementary school that a theory falls in the middle of a hierarchy of certainty--above a mere hypothesis but below a law. Scientists do not use the terms that way, however. According to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), a scientific theory is "a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses." No amount of validation changes a theory into a law, which is a descriptive generalization about nature. So when scientists talk about the theory of evolution--or the atomic theory or the theory of relativity, for that matter--they are not expressing reservations about its truth.

    Taking the comment about what a law is, I am then prompted to remember a comment I first heard from Rvd. Ian Paisley to the effect that "all generalisations are suspect".

    Finally, I would point out that we have no way of enforcing laws, nor of being 100% certain that they are enforced. We can be almost 100% certain that within certain boundaries and so forth that they hold true, but thats about it.

    If I say that there is Bonkey's Law which states that in any scientific conversation, terminology will be misused at least once, does this mean that it must happen? Just because I said its a Law? What if it became a widespread, accepted generalisation (like the more-well-known Godwin's Law)? Does this make it true?

    In science, the very idea of 100% certainty of positives cannot exist. I believe we can be 100% positive that something is not the case, but that anyone who states positive with 100% certainty is over-reaching at least slightly.

    Ultimately, I think thats partly because of my background in Applied Mathematics. In pure mathematics, we can be 100% certain of certain things. However, this requires that we define clearly all influences. If I say that the sum of the angles of a triangle equal 180 degrees, I could be wrong. If I say it holds true on a Cartesian plane, then (unless my memory is fading or I've forgotten something) I cannot be wrong. In the real world, however, everything in science is based on observation (and thus, to a degree on assumption) rather than declaration. We cannot declare that things are the way we need them to be, we can show that they very much appear to be that way, and on the assumption that our interpretation of this appearance is accurate, we can then go on to draw conclusions.

    But there's always those assumptions, no matter how tiny we consider the possibility of them being (even slightly) wrong to be.

    Thus, if you've been told you cannot break scientific laws, you were told wrong. You cannot break the laws of physics. However, whether our stated laws of physics are the actual laws of physics is something we cannot state with 100% absolute certainty.

    Going slightly further...lest someone think I'm supporting Steorn here...

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence to support them. What we understand to be the laws of physics are - if not 100% certain - extraordinarily well tested within the boundaries that are currently possible. What Steorn are claiming is that we got it wrong. The possibility that they have found something exists...but it will not be accepted until and unless they credibly establish their claim to the satisfaction of those they are saying are wrong. Thats they way science works.

    If someone has an idea of what might be the "trick", then the onus is on Steorn to show that this person is wrong. Note - they have to show, not merely state, that this person is wrong.

    For example, if someone says "they're just using a magnetic motor", they can't say "no, we're not", but rather they have to allow third-party, independant validation by anyone who cares to test this claim.

    Thats how it works. Science is where it is because modern science has taken this champion/challenger model to extraordinary lengths. Steorn are not playing that game. They're hiding their validation process rather than making it as open as possible. They're explainaing that with reasons that are simply not acceptable to the scientific community. The way in which they approach this is the same as many scam artists who've tried to make a quick buck from similar claims in the past.

    So yes, Steorn could be right. They may have found something. But the correct position of the scientific community should be "convince me" and Steorn refuse to do that, seeking some sort of public acceptance instead. Thus, the odds of the skeptical scientific position being correct that this is not the real deal are increased.

    My current guess is that Steorn will soon declare that they've run out of funds, and that this "best hope for mankind" will unfortunately never see the light of day unless they abandon their previous position of "no funding till we've proven ourselves", and will "reluctantly" seek outside investment to bring this revolutionary product to market. This will be necessitated in part by the unforseen technical problems that their current "demonstration" encountered.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,164 ✭✭✭ cavedave


    That makes sense thanks for the clarification.

    On a side note Godwin's Law is a non falsifiable hypothesis. To disprove it you would need and infinitely long internet forum thread which cannot happen.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,858 ✭✭✭ professore


    Son Goku wrote:
    There the basis for all modern technology. Especially the entire computing and communications industry. In fact they probably, in terms of profit, the single most fruitful piece of mathematics ever.

    You could say the same thing about Newton's Laws - but Einstein proved they were not *quite* right. I'm not for a minute saying that these Steorn guys have anything - in fact I consider it extremely unlikely - but you never know.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,858 ✭✭✭ professore


    bonkey wrote:
    You've been told wrong.


    While I'm not entirely sure that yoru example is a violation of the laws you mention, we know that Newtonian physics is - strictly speaking - incorrect.

    To be more accurate, Newtonian physics give us a relatively accurate model within certain boundaries and tolerances. This is good enough, for example, to build a car, but probably not to put a satellite into orbit.

    That we generally refer to Newtonian Physics as "Newton's Laws" is just a form of nomenclature.

    I was reading an article from SciAm recently, where I came across what is perhaps the best clarification of this point I have seen yet:

    Many people learned in elementary school that a theory falls in the middle of a hierarchy of certainty--above a mere hypothesis but below a law. Scientists do not use the terms that way, however. According to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), a scientific theory is "a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses." No amount of validation changes a theory into a law, which is a descriptive generalization about nature. So when scientists talk about the theory of evolution--or the atomic theory or the theory of relativity, for that matter--they are not expressing reservations about its truth.

    Taking the comment about what a law is, I am then prompted to remember a comment I first heard from Rvd. Ian Paisley to the effect that "all generalisations are suspect".

    Finally, I would point out that we have no way of enforcing laws, nor of being 100% certain that they are enforced. We can be almost 100% certain that within certain boundaries and so forth that they hold true, but thats about it.

    If I say that there is Bonkey's Law which states that in any scientific conversation, terminology will be misused at least once, does this mean that it must happen? Just because I said its a Law? What if it became a widespread, accepted generalisation (like the more-well-known Godwin's Law)? Does this make it true?

    In science, the very idea of 100% certainty of positives cannot exist. I believe we can be 100% positive that something is not the case, but that anyone who states positive with 100% certainty is over-reaching at least slightly.

    Ultimately, I think thats partly because of my background in Applied Mathematics. In pure mathematics, we can be 100% certain of certain things. However, this requires that we define clearly all influences. If I say that the sum of the angles of a triangle equal 180 degrees, I could be wrong. If I say it holds true on a Cartesian plane, then (unless my memory is fading or I've forgotten something) I cannot be wrong. In the real world, however, everything in science is based on observation (and thus, to a degree on assumption) rather than declaration. We cannot declare that things are the way we need them to be, we can show that they very much appear to be that way, and on the assumption that our interpretation of this appearance is accurate, we can then go on to draw conclusions.

    But there's always those assumptions, no matter how tiny we consider the possibility of them being (even slightly) wrong to be.

    Thus, if you've been told you cannot break scientific laws, you were told wrong. You cannot break the laws of physics. However, whether our stated laws of physics are the actual laws of physics is something we cannot state with 100% absolute certainty.

    Going slightly further...lest someone think I'm supporting Steorn here...

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence to support them. What we understand to be the laws of physics are - if not 100% certain - extraordinarily well tested within the boundaries that are currently possible. What Steorn are claiming is that we got it wrong. The possibility that they have found something exists...but it will not be accepted until and unless they credibly establish their claim to the satisfaction of those they are saying are wrong. Thats they way science works.

    If someone has an idea of what might be the "trick", then the onus is on Steorn to show that this person is wrong. Note - they have to show, not merely state, that this person is wrong.

    For example, if someone says "they're just using a magnetic motor", they can't say "no, we're not", but rather they have to allow third-party, independant validation by anyone who cares to test this claim.

    Thats how it works. Science is where it is because modern science has taken this champion/challenger model to extraordinary lengths. Steorn are not playing that game. They're hiding their validation process rather than making it as open as possible. They're explainaing that with reasons that are simply not acceptable to the scientific community. The way in which they approach this is the same as many scam artists who've tried to make a quick buck from similar claims in the past.

    So yes, Steorn could be right. They may have found something. But the correct position of the scientific community should be "convince me" and Steorn refuse to do that, seeking some sort of public acceptance instead. Thus, the odds of the skeptical scientific position being correct that this is not the real deal are increased.

    My current guess is that Steorn will soon declare that they've run out of funds, and that this "best hope for mankind" will unfortunately never see the light of day unless they abandon their previous position of "no funding till we've proven ourselves", and will "reluctantly" seek outside investment to bring this revolutionary product to market. This will be necessitated in part by the unforseen technical problems that their current "demonstration" encountered.

    Couldn't have said it better myself. Excellent description of the scientific method.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,475 Son Goku


    professore wrote:
    You could say the same thing about Newton's Laws
    No, Newton's laws really needed to be expressed in Hamiltonian and Lagrangian format before they were very useful. In terms of return-to-cost Maxwell's Equations were far more productive.
    professore wrote:
    - but Einstein proved they were not *quite* right.
    Really? In what sense did they show Newton's Laws to be incorrect and is it truly analogous to what Steorn are doing?
    I would say it isn't. Newton's Laws indicate the natural limit of their regime and have a clear set of axioms upon which they rest. For instance in the first section of Principia Newton claims space to be "unmoved", in anticipation of the fact that it would be possible to affect it.
    The law of conservation of energy, on the other hand is not the same as this as it is not a theory, rather a principle used to build theories. If it was wrong everything would be wrong. Now while it is possible that it is wrong, it's extremely unlikely to be wrong at human energy scales, which Steorn are still operating at. Newton's Laws also still work at human energy scales, you have to move to Stellar energies before you see it. Steorn have not "moved" to a point/energy scale where they stand a chance of seeing new physics. So the analogy does not hold.
    professore wrote:
    but you never know.
    Every crank does not gain a veneer of respect simply because science is tentative. For instance "Cups don't fall up usually, but you never know".


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,858 ✭✭✭ professore


    Son Goku wrote:
    No, Newton's laws really needed to be expressed in Hamiltonian and Lagrangian format before they were very useful. In terms of return-to-cost Maxwell's Equations were far more productive.

    Really useful to who? Newton's laws in simple format have been and are still very useful for most everyday engineering.
    Really? In what sense did they show Newton's Laws to be incorrect and is it truly analogous to what Steorn are doing?

    However, Newton's laws (combined with Universal Gravitation and Classical Electrodynamics) are inappropriate for use in certain circumstances, most notably at very small scales, very high speeds (in special relativity, the Lorentz factor must be included in the expression for momentum along with rest mass and velocity) or very strong gravitational fields. Therefore, the laws cannot be used to explain phenomena such as conduction of electricity in a semiconductor, optical properties of substances, errors in non-relativistically corrected GPS systems and superconductivity. Explanation of these phenomena requires more sophisticated physical theory, including General Relativity and Relativistic Quantum Mechanics.


    I didn't say anything about it being analgous to what Steorn are doing. I said it's highly unlikely in my opinion that what they are doing is actually will work - i.e. I am extremely sceptical - however since I don't know what they have been doing exactly, if in a year's time I am driving a Steorn-powered car I am not going to turn around and say "I'm not using this car because it can't work".
    I would say it isn't. Newton's Laws indicate the natural limit of their regime and have a clear set of axioms upon which they rest. For instance in the first section of Principia Newton claims space to be "unmoved", in anticipation of the fact that it would be possible to affect it.

    Everything in science is a theory. That is the strength of science. If it is not then it's not science, it's religion. It's unfortunate that law has become the accepted term as it implies that they are somehow commandments not to be broken.
    The law of conservation of energy, on the other hand is not the same as this as it is not a theory, rather a principle used to build theories. If it was wrong everything would be wrong. Now while it is possible that it is wrong, it's extremely unlikely to be wrong at human energy scales, which Steorn are still operating at. Newton's Laws also still work at human energy scales, you have to move to Stellar energies before you see it. Steorn have not "moved" to a point/energy scale where they stand a chance of seeing new physics. So the analogy does not hold.


    Every crank does not gain a veneer of respect simply because science is tentative. For instance "Cups don't fall up usually, but you never know".

    Yes, a cup could fall upwards. If the cup was metal and there was a large electromagnet in the ceiling ...
    If you were in zero gravity ....
    In australia, in our frame of reference, everything falls upwards.

    So you see your analogy doesn't work either. :D

    I never said either that science justifies every crank - however in science one is not a crank IF one's theories can be independently verified by experiment. Substitute religion for science and heretic for crank and you see what I'm getting at. One of the problems with science today is that unless you have a Ph.D and lots of publications in respected journals (i.e. you are a member of the priesthood) no-one will listen. I suspect that's why Steorn, assuming they believe they have something (again I don't believe !!!!!!!) took the Economist route.

    Just noticed you are the moderator - don't ban me :)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,475 Son Goku


    professore wrote:
    Really useful to who? Newton's laws in simple format have been and are still very useful for most everyday engineering.
    Is that definitely Newton's Laws in full? (ODEs and all) Or simply the "balance the forces method"?
    However, Newton's laws ...... Quantum Mechanics.
    That tells me Newton's Laws were replaced, it does not tell me how they were replaced or how Newton's Laws fit into the other theories. Exactly how Newton's Laws fit into the later theories is important. It's very easy to "Newton turned out to be wrong" if you don't know how he turned out to be wrong. The replacement of Newton's Laws says nothing about what is going on here because they are very different situations.
    I didn't say anything about it being analgous to what Steorn are doing. I said it's highly unlikely in my opinion that what they are doing is actually will work - i.e. I am extremely sceptical - however since I don't know what they have been doing exactly, if in a year's time I am driving a Steorn-powered car I am not going to turn around and say "I'm not using this car because it can't work".
    Everything in science is a theory. That is the strength of science. If it is not then it's not science, it's religion. It's unfortunate that law has become the accepted term as it implies that they are somehow commandments not to be broken.
    I never said either that science justifies every crank - however in science one is not a crank IF one's theories can be independently verified by experiment. Substitute religion for science and heretic for crank and you see what I'm getting at. One of the problems with science today is that unless you have a Ph.D and lots of publications in respected journals (i.e. you are a member of the priesthood) no-one will listen. I suspect that's why Steorn, assuming they believe they have something (again I don't believe !!!!!!!) took the Economist route.
    That's philosophy of science 101, it's how science works. Steorn haven't offered anything in the way of proof. Catchy Flash videos and Posters don't equate with actual content.
    You need a Ph.D. now for very good reasons, it's because if you don't you don't know anywhere near enough. For instance look at CERN, we have constructed a $10,000,000 cyclotron in order to reach energy regimes where current physics fails, that's how difficult it is to find new physics. It's very easy to parrot off lines about "self appointed defenders of the orthodoxy", however the reason people don't listen to guys like Steorn is because they're never right. Popperianism is great, but it also needs a dose of common sense.
    However with your priesthood comments, I suspect that you simply have an axe to grind.


  • Registered Users Posts: 861 Professor_Fink


    professore wrote:
    However, Newton's laws (combined with Universal Gravitation and Classical Electrodynamics) are inappropriate for use in certain circumstances, most notably at very small scales, very high speeds (in special relativity, the Lorentz factor must be included in the expression for momentum along with rest mass and velocity) or very strong gravitational fields.

    Ok, I've already said this in this thread, but it seems to need repeating. Unless the laws of nature are not fixed, and change freely at the whim of some prankster god, then the you cannot break the established laws of physics in the regimes where they have been rigorously tested.

    Steorn's machine occupies an extremely well tested region in theory-space. Basically we know all the physics that affects magnets at the energy and temperature scales that Steorn is talking about. There is no wiggle room.

    All the worse for Steorn, conservation is one of the most fundamental rules in physics, as it is a direct consequence of the fact that the laws of physics are translationally invariant with respect to time, via Noether's theorem. Fundamental physical interactions have been verified countless times (and in the case of CERN and Fermilab, I literally do mean countless, since they generate too much data to store). Sean McCarthy's arguments about magnetic viscosity are deeply flawed and neglect many effects. He takes a macroscopic look at a quantum system and gets himself lost.
    professore wrote:
    I didn't say anything about it being analgous to what Steorn are doing. I said it's highly unlikely in my opinion that what they are doing is actually will work - i.e. I am extremely sceptical - however since I don't know what they have been doing exactly, if in a year's time I am driving a Steorn-powered car I am not going to turn around and say "I'm not using this car because it can't work".

    That seems unlikely since they've just canceled the public demo.
    professore wrote:
    I never said either that science justifies every crank - however in science one is not a crank IF one's theories can be independently verified by experiment. Substitute religion for science and heretic for crank and you see what I'm getting at. One of the problems with science today is that unless you have a Ph.D and lots of publications in respected journals (i.e. you are a member of the priesthood) no-one will listen. I suspect that's why Steorn, assuming they believe they have something (again I don't believe !!!!!!!) took the Economist route.

    There tends to be only two reasons why people compare science to religion, and scientists to priests. The first is that they have taken some course in philosophy and want to show off how deep a thinker they are (the fact that they miss the obvious differences tends to make this counter-productive), and the second is to annoy scientists.

    I have a pretty good idea why Steorn went the Economist route: No peer review journal would print their rubbish and you can't patent perpetual motion machines.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,858 ✭✭✭ professore


    First of all people seem to have gotten the idea that I am a believer in Steorn and every snakeoil crackpot theory out there. I AM NOT. My point is only that if they set up their experiment and it GENUINELY creates more energy than it consumes then it has to be taken seriously. I don't believe for a minute that it will though.

    OK ONE LAST TIME - MY POINTS ARE:
    1. I think it's highly unlikely Steorn have anything and personally think they are deluded.
    2. That is not to say that without a Ph.D and hundreds of peer-reviewed papers you have nothing of value to contribute to physics (or any science for that matter). These days it's less likely than before but not impossible. Of course you have to produce a paper to be reviewed.
    3. If you have discovered something impossible from our current understanding of physics (e.g. you can travel faster than light, create gigawatts of power from thin air with a penknife and a piece of string a la McGyver, etc) and can design an experiment where others can reliably repeat it, then it has to be taken into the framework of science and not dismissed out of hand no matter how crazy. Look at quantum physics for God's sake - some of that is weird hard-to-believe stuff. Action at a distance for example has all sorts of consequences to name one.
    4. I DO NOT think any of the last bullet point is likely to happen, I'm just making a point.
    5. Physics is not like mathematics where you start from a set of axioms and define from there. You make a framework that describes the world as best you can and you test, test, test. If you disprove some aspect of the framework with your then you need to alter your framework.

    Ok, I've already said this in this thread, but it seems to need repeating. Unless the laws of nature are not fixed, and change freely at the whim of some prankster god, then the you cannot break the established laws of physics in the regimes where they have been rigorously tested.

    It is not necessarily that they are not fixed; it is only necessary that we have an incomplete understanding of them. So if someone comes up with a repeatable experiment that proves a physical law can be broken you will ignore it?
    Steorn's machine occupies an extremely well tested region in theory-space. Basically we know all the physics that affects magnets at the energy and temperature scales that Steorn is talking about. There is no wiggle room.

    All the worse for Steorn, conservation is one of the most fundamental rules in physics, as it is a direct consequence of the fact that the laws of physics are translationally invariant with respect to time, via Noether's theorem. Fundamental physical interactions have been verified countless times (and in the case of CERN and Fermilab, I literally do mean countless, since they generate too much data to store). Sean McCarthy's arguments about magnetic viscosity are deeply flawed and neglect many effects. He takes a macroscopic look at a quantum system and gets himself lost.

    I agree with the above except for countless. That is factually incorrect and is a figure of speech. The set of tests is countable and finite. But I am being pedantic here.
    That seems unlikely since they've just canceled the public demo.



    There tends to be only two reasons why people compare science to religion, and scientists to priests. The first is that they have taken some course in philosophy and want to show off how deep a thinker they are (the fact that they miss the obvious differences tends to make this counter-productive), and the second is to annoy scientists.

    I have never taken a course in philosophy but when I retire wouldn't rule it out - sounds like fun. Physics used to be called natural philosophy after all. I happen to have a B.Sc. in physics and mathematics so don't qualify under reason 2 either unless I want to annoy myself. I don't say they are the same - they are hugely different. In my belief in the scientific method I am religiously zealous and will cast out ye non-believers. "Nullius in Verba" ("On the words of no one") the Royal Society motto every time.
    I have a pretty good idea why Steorn went the Economist route: No peer review journal would print their rubbish and you can't patent perpetual motion machines.

    That is 99.99 % likely to be true - but if they REALLY HAVE something (I don't believe it for a second) do you think they would have a hope of even being entertained by a peer review journal?


  • Registered Users Posts: 861 Professor_Fink


    professore wrote:
    It is not necessarily that they are not fixed; it is only necessary that we have an incomplete understanding of them. So if someone comes up with a repeatable experiment that proves a physical law can be broken you will ignore it?

    I think you've completely missed my point. Once we have tested the physics as particular scales (energy,length,mass etc.) we expect things to be the same next time we test them. If they aren't, and there is no external influence, then science is broken. It just doesn't work. Science is based on repeatability, and once we have worked out the physics in one region of parameter-space, then they hold in that space. That's it. No arguments.

    My point is that we already know the physics of the relevant length/mass/energy scales for the Steorn device. Conventional magnets at room temperature cannot give rise to some unknown physics because we have so thoroughly verified conservation of energy in within those parameters.

    If their claim rested on new physics at the Planck scale, then I might have some time for them.
    professore wrote:
    I agree with the above except for countless. That is factually incorrect and is a figure of speech. The set of tests is countable and finite. But I am being pedantic here.

    Ok, lets be pedantic. Not every number is countable. Not even every finite number. To actually count something you need some way of representing the number. The universe only has a finite (although rather large) computational and storage capacity. See http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/56585/ABSTRACT?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0 for details.
    professore wrote:
    That is 99.99 % likely to be true - but if they REALLY HAVE something (I don't believe it for a second) do you think they would have a hope of even being entertained by a peer review journal?

    They don't, and that's the whole point. I know of people who have received crackpot papers to referee simply because the crackpot was sufficiently insistent with the journal editors. Any referee will, however, reject this out of hand without experimental verification. Sean McCarthy's thought experiments simply will not cut the mustard.

    As someone far wiser than me once said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,921 ✭✭✭ aidan24326


    Any updates on this? Seems to be much ado about nothing.

    That said, if their device turns out not to work they're going to look like idiots, so you'd have to wonder what they're up to.

    They probably believe it works but have neglected some important detail. Can't really comment on their device since I don't really know much about it, but I'd agree with other posters that it's enormously unlikely that they have achieved what they claim.

    EDIT: does anyone actually know what this machine is or how it's supposed to work?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,858 ✭✭✭ professore


    I think you've completely missed my point. Once we have tested the physics as particular scales (energy,length,mass etc.) we expect things to be the same next time we test them. If they aren't, and there is no external influence, then science is broken. It just doesn't work. Science is based on repeatability, and once we have worked out the physics in one region of parameter-space, then they hold in that space. That's it. No arguments.

    "I am not in the habit of repeating myself" to lower the tone and quote that character in Kilnascully, but my main point is that in the case above I largely agree with what you are saying except for the "Science is broken" bit. No it isn't - in the case above new theories are needed to account for the discrepancy. If you have proven that there is no external influences and that your experiment is not flawed in some way, then you MUST as a scientist, accept the evidence, no matter how unlikely, that the theory is wrong. The other alternative is of course that you are mad in some way. However the problem is most likely in your experiment, so would be 200% sure I could do it every time like clockwork :

    If it blows up, it's chemistry. If it stinks, it's biology. If it doesn't work, it's physics. :D

    If I were Steorn and I HAD discovered something, I would have hundreds of these things working reliably for months and have the s**t tested out of them before going public - the main reason why I think they have nothing. That and the laws of physics of course ;) Damn, I miss these discussions - don't work in physics unfortunately (no smart remarks on that one)


  • Administrators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,538 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ oscarBravo


    Uh huh.



    The resurrection of this thread prompted me to wonder whatever happened to Steorn, so I went looking - apparently they're still on the go!

    http://dispatchesfromthefuture.com/


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 87,006 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Capt'n Midnight


    http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2009/02/19/solar-system-cost-report/
    It found that average installed costs, in terms of real 2007 dollars per installed watt, declined from $10.50 per watt in 1998 to $7.60 per watt in 2007

    These days Elon Musk is talking about $0.55/watt

    For low powered devices the problem is not free energy. It's cheap energy storage. Already we have RF light switches that are powered by pressing on a piezo. So no wires or batteries or maintenance , pair the switch with the light and stick as many as you like all over the place.


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,793 ScumLord


    For low powered devices the problem is not free energy. It's cheap energy storage.
    Years ago my father thought he was onto a winner when he bought a wind turbine. A year later it was completely unused. The batteries that were used just couldn't charge themselves properly and there would be power spikes and power outages. It was a while ago now, he would have been a very early adopter at the time but there wasn't really a good way of storing the energy. It's probably improved a lot since then and while batteries have improved they've improved to the stage of being useable in a crunch, rather than a dependable alternative.


  • Administrators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,538 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ oscarBravo


    Your Ideas Intrigue Me, And I Wish To Subscribe To Your Newsletter


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