Tag Archives: technology

The case against Steorn

Deliberately misleading title for this post. The truth is that I’m a believer. This must be qualified as I’m not sure they know what they’ve actually done or the exact/proximate principles upon which it works. It’s interesting though that the arguments against Steorn should be looked at dispassionately. Here’s the arguments against from Wikipedia.

  1. Instead of opening up their technology for public inspection, Steorn has pitched their claim directly to the media. This is considered by Dr Robert L. Park, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland at College Park, to be an important indicator that a scientific claim lies well outside the bounds of rational scientific discourse.
  2. Steorn’s claim violates the first law of thermodynamics. Many ordinary people and established scientists including Leonardo da Vinci have attempted to do this for centuries and failed.
  3. In particular, Steorn claims to violate the law using “a way to construct magnetic fields so that when you travel round the magnetic fields, starting and stopping at the same position, you have gained energy”. Magnetism is a conservative force, so it is well established that the energy of motion which one gains when two magnets attract or repel is exactly equal to the energy needed to restore the starting position, no matter how you arrange the magnets.
  4. In view of the fundamental nature of the laws of thermodynamics within physics,
    overwhelming evidence would be required to support Steorn’s claim that these laws have been violated. No such evidence has been provided.

1 – Dr. Park’s reasoning is sensible but not conclusive in and of itself.
2 – Ignore the DaVinci comments. Most scientists I know realise that his contribution to science is far far below his contributions to art. So let’s deal with the first law of thermodynamics. (“The increase in the internal energy of a thermodynamic system is equal to the amount of heat energy added to the system minus the work done by the system on the surroundings.”) In an age where there exist many scientific phenomena which are not fully understood can we really consider the first law of thermodynamics to be inviolable? If we do then how do we define “surroundings”? We don’t have a GUT, we don’t have an independent reference frame so it’s all observational. In light of this it’s very difficult to say that so-called “energy from the void” theories and apparatus are unworkable as we can only talk about observed energy transfer. Try getting a string theorist to define “surroundings”!… Don’t think we’ve reached our zenith of knowledge yet just like we hadn’t in 1905 when classical mechanics was revealed to be inadequate and relativity was born.
3 – It’s possible their mechanism to achieve the end result (apparent perpetual motion) is not well explained in their documentation for deliberate or accidental reasons. This is not cold-fusion. According to the company they’re repeating the experiment every day. I just don’t think these guys are cranks. However, it’s important to note that they CAN’T PATENT THIS SYSTEM IN ENTIRETY until they understand roughly how it works. Patents generally can’t be granted if they violate physical laws. So I’m guessing they’re getting their scientific evaluators to help make their case.
4- Agreed. So let’s wait and see.

5 reasons why free energy is bad

I’ve been so excited by Steorn’s announcement that I had to write about the scourge of “free” energy. With my tongue firmly in my cheek…

  1. Every time you use free energy a baby universe (or state monopoly) dies.
  2. Free energy makes you blind.
  3. Free energy can neither be created or destroyed.
  4. Organisations providing free energy become more disorganised over time.
  5. Free energy is anti-american