The Secret of Perpetual Motion

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Dave

Joined Nov 17, 2003
6,970
In Tuesdays Daily Mail (a popular daily newspaper in the UK) I came across an article titled: "Heard the one about the Irishman and the secret of perpetual motion?"

The editorial was of a story that has caused quite a stir in the world of science and engineering. A small Irish company called Steorn have allegidly created something they call "free energy technology" - see their claim here. To back up there claim they took out a £75,000 advert in the Economist challenging people to rubbish their claims.

How does it work?

Some year back Steorn was working on a CCTV system when instead of powering the cameras by the traditional method of batteries, they took the approach of implementing the power source through use of tiny wind generators. When designing these microturbines, Steorn claim, that they noticed something very peculiar: the magnets used in the turbines seemed to generate more power than was being put into them.

In essence, the claim is that if the magnetic fields are set up in a certain way and the magnet object is waded through the field, the magnet experiences a kick from (apparently) nowhere. There is no input from say an electrical source, and the magnets do not run down like an electrical source would do - i.e. they operate in perpetual motion and would theoretically run forever.

As with anything of this nature it draws a lot of criticism, not just for challenging the accepted scientific knowledge, but also for having potential alterior motives.

So what do you think? If nothing else, its got people talking about science!

Dave
 

pebe

Joined Oct 11, 2004
626
Claims to have invented perpetual energy are as old as the hills.

Periodically, some new proposal is put forward and wild claims made for it. But by the time the latest theory has been bebunked for the scam that it is, the proposer has enjoyed his ten minutes of fame and is long gone and forgotten.
 

Thread Starter

Dave

Joined Nov 17, 2003
6,970
Claims to have invented perpetual energy are as old as the hills.

Periodically, some new proposal is put forward and wild claims made for it. But by the time the latest theory has been bebunked for the scam that it is, the proposer has enjoyed his ten minutes of fame and is long gone and forgotten.
Granted, every so often someone comes up with a new and improved proposal for such an idea as perpetual motion. Sometimes some of them really believe what they are saying! But this company has a lot on the line here; firstly, they have stumped up £75,000 worth of cash to put an advert out goading people to prove them wrong, secondly, if they are wrong they will suffer the tarnishing of their name as being frauds and incompetant.

On the other hand, this is making them a name - think before this came about who had heard of Steorn. There is a rumour circulating that certain large organisation have an interest in this venture (the Daily Mail names one such behemouth), i.e. the idea of alterior motives.

Its still an interesting topic of debate, if not down at the pub!

Dave
 

thingmaker3

Joined May 16, 2005
5,084
"Prove me wrong" is the traditional cry of the snake-oil salesman. The "secret formula" used by these Irish folk is another earmark of fraud. If it were science, not blarney, they would have the technique up for peer review.

Real scientists are quite happy to explain what they've found to anyone who asks - without having to showboat. Real scientists use research funds for research. Steorn has one hand behind the curtain while waving their research funds in the other hand as a distraction.

I predict they will next invite investors to participate in a pyramid scheme. Buy in will probably be just within reach of the common rube - a few thousand pounds each, perhaps. Rubes will be promised rights to sell hook-ups to friends and family.
 

Thread Starter

Dave

Joined Nov 17, 2003
6,970
"Prove me wrong" is the traditional cry of the snake-oil salesman. The "secret formula" used by these Irish folk is another earmark of fraud. If it were science, not blarney, they would have the technique up for peer review.

Real scientists are quite happy to explain what they've found to anyone who asks - without having to showboat. Real scientists use research funds for research. Steorn has one hand behind the curtain while waving their research funds in the other hand as a distraction.

I predict they will next invite investors to participate in a pyramid scheme. Buy in will probably be just within reach of the common rube - a few thousand pounds each, perhaps. Rubes will be promised rights to sell hook-ups to friends and family.
So you're not buying into Steorns claims?!

Something I have noticed from the claims made by Steorn (ref the link above) is the following:

Claim 3: There is no identifiable environmental source of the energy (as might be witnessed by a cooling of ambient air temperature).

Now this led me to think: could it not be possible that Steorn firmly believe that they have stumbled upon this secret of perpetual motion, when in reality they have stumbled upon some part of science for which we have not got an understanding at this moment, therefore leading them to believe that they are creating free energy?

Incidently, I am not supporting Steorn's claim, rather trying to see what others think about it.

Dave
 

Søren

Joined Sep 2, 2006
472
Hi,

Last time I checked, the Laws of Thermodynamics still applied !!!

Why are they funnelling all that doe into it ?
Well, I didn't check into it, so I don't know if they actually did or if that was just another fairy tale (a.k.a. marketing spin), but it might just be a smart way to advertize your company - £75,000 for getting everyone to talk about you is very cheap marketing !

Way back, we had a really smart guy (Simon Spies who had a huge travel agency). He might go to a movie theater and buy 3 tickets, one for himself, one for his hat and the last one for his walking cane... Then he would be on the front page of every newspaper the next day for a prize that wouldn't have bought him 5 lines of national advertizing (he did things like that on a regular base - got very cheap exposure by playing excentric) - A quote from him translates loosely into "Good reputation or bad reputation, both means that people know you".

Even when they are ridiculed and bashed, this Steorn company will still have put themselves firmly on the map for a measley £75,000.
 

Thread Starter

Dave

Joined Nov 17, 2003
6,970
Hi Soren,

Thanks for getting involved in this discussion, and welcome to the All About Circuits Forums.

I take on board your idea that this is cheap (and effective) marketing, afterall you only need to look around the web at the discussions on going regarding Steorn. The scientific community is abuzz with this topic and ultimately the name Steorn is now widely known.

However, the idea that any publicity is good publicity doesn't in my opinion always apply to the world of engineering. Get a reputation as a load of cowboys, or get a stigma attached to your company name/brand and its very difficult to overcome the public perception. Therefore, even though Steorn has acquired a name a through this whole process, if they are proved to be a fraud then that will stand as their infamy. Give a dog a bad name, and it sticks.

This is a risky approach which could end up having a negative net gain, don't you think?

Dave
 

thingmaker3

Joined May 16, 2005
5,084
To understand how one can make money without delivering a product, try putting the names "Dennis Lee" or "Joe Newman" into your favorite search engine.

If it looks like a duck, quacks like a piece of wood, and bobs in the water like a piece of wood, its probably not a duck.
 

Thread Starter

Dave

Joined Nov 17, 2003
6,970
To understand how one can make money without delivering a product, try putting the names "Dennis Lee" or "Joe Newman" into your favorite search engine.

If it looks like a duck, quacks like a piece of wood, and bobs in the water like a piece of wood, its probably not a duck.
Wow, I've never heard of these people, but a web search produces some truely fascinating information :eek: It seems the two poeple you mention don't believe each other either!! Pure comedy.

Dave
 

rukrazy?

Joined Mar 5, 2005
21
No perpetual motion does exist. Just look at the sun. The orbits of the planets, the spinning on its axis.

It does exist at least in our lifetime. Whether it continues cannot be proved till the end of time, another oxymoron?

But we are limited by our laws of physics, Psst. Just try telling that to the sun, and other stars.
Snake oil yes.
 

Thread Starter

Dave

Joined Nov 17, 2003
6,970
No perpetual motion does exist. Just look at the sun. The orbits of the planets, the spinning on its axis.
Could you explain to me how you equate the Sun and the orbits of the planets as being perpetual motion?

This would imply to me that we exist in a universe devoid of Newtonian physics and in a state of compete isolation without any possible interaction with other bodies in the Universe - something which clearly happens between the Sun and the planets in the Solar System.

Dave
 

Søren

Joined Sep 2, 2006
472
Hi Dave,

welcome to the All About Circuits Forums.
Thanks :)


Therefore, even though Steorn has acquired a name a through this whole process, if they are proved to be a fraud then that will stand as their infamy. Give a dog a bad name, and it sticks.

This is a risky approach which could end up having a negative net gain, don't you think?
I never heard of Steorn before yesterday (maybe since I just had my vacation), so I'm not really up to speed on the issue, but consider they afterwards go "ha ha, we got so-and-so many to actually believe this bull and most to debate it", I'd say they may stand out as annoying pranksters with a "bright" marketing plan, but I don't think that would cause any adverse affects in their recognition (which has probably been boosted more than a thousand times).

The guy I mentioned who believed ANY mention was good, was actually one of (if not The) richest guy in DK at that time, so I guess he knew what he was talking about (and he married a very young girl, about 1/3 his age, who was working for him in a very low position when he new he was about to kick the bucket, just to avoid the state taking a lot of his fortune when he died... And perhaps to make one last "scandal" - Gee I really liked the guy ;)).

Whatever, Steorn aren't stupid, or they couldn't have raised the money in the first place, so I don't think they believe their own nonsense - contrary to folks like Alex Chiu (my favourite Kook).
 

Thread Starter

Dave

Joined Nov 17, 2003
6,970
Søren;19933 said:
I never heard of Steorn before yesterday (maybe since I just had my vacation), so I'm not really up to speed on the issue, but consider they afterwards go "ha ha, we got so-and-so many to actually believe this bull and most to debate it", I'd say they may stand out as annoying pranksters with a "bright" marketing plan, but I don't think that would cause any adverse affects in their recognition (which has probably been boosted more than a thousand times).
So I take it you don't just think they are naive and genuinely believe what they are proposing?

I also take it you don't believe, should this be found to be a load of cobblers, that people will not associate Steorn with underhand marketing or rubbish R&D skills?

I'm no expert in the field of marketing so I don't really know how companies approach such ideas.

The guy I mentioned who believed ANY mention was good, was actually one of (if not The) richest guy in DK at that time, so I guess he knew what he was talking about (and he married a very young girl, about 1/3 his age, who was working for him in a very low position when he new he was about to kick the bucket, just to avoid the state taking a lot of his fortune when he died... And perhaps to make one last "scandal" - Gee I really liked the guy ;)).
Sounds like a bit of a geezer, someone famous?

Whatever, Steorn aren't stupid, or they couldn't have raised the money in the first place, so I don't think they believe their own nonsense - contrary to folks like Alex Chiu (my favourite Kook).
So this could leave the door open to the ideas of an external influence? (No names mentioned)

Dave
 

thingmaker3

Joined May 16, 2005
5,084
I'm no expert in the field of marketing so I don't really know how companies approach such ideas.
I'm no marketing expert either, but I have looked into marketing. I also pay very close attention when a marketing expert offers their opinion within my hearing.

One marketing theory holds that truth and fact are completely irrelivant - the only things that matter are catching attention and getting the consumer to associate the marketed name with some desire or other. Truth and fact may be used for this if they are effective, but should not be relied upon by themselves (if at all).

Marketing is about psychology, not physics or logic. Effective marketing will either fill someone's need, solve someone's problem, or make someone feel good - or at least will convince the customer that one of these is happening.
 

Thread Starter

Dave

Joined Nov 17, 2003
6,970
One marketing theory holds that truth and fact are completely irrelivant - the only things that matter are catching attention and getting the consumer to associate the marketed name with some desire or other. Truth and fact may be used for this if they are effective, but should not be relied upon by themselves (if at all).
But from a technical point of view (as I would expect many engineers to look at this from) should this be a fraudulent claim that ended up being proved to be as such, then surely the only association the wider world would have for Steorn is frauds who work by underhand tactics - something that would put people (certainly myself) for them. Then again from speaking to marketing boffs at my places of work, both current and in the past, they have this crazy skewed view of the world where nothing seems real. To them they probably think this would be a good thing.

I suppose my lack of comprehension in this is why I chose Engineering at university and not Business Studies.

From my musings over this subject in the last week it seems as though the wider technical community just aren't buying Steorn's claims and are analysing the potential reasons for their making such claims.

Dave
 

Thread Starter

Dave

Joined Nov 17, 2003
6,970
I have noticed in recent weeks that Steorn have finalised the personnel for their Validation Jury of their "Perpetual Motion" claims:

Steorn, the technology development company, announced yesterday that it has finalized and signed contracts with an independent jury who will test Steorn's free energy technology.

This is the latest milestone in Steorn's efforts to get validation for its technology, which began when the company issued a challenge to the world's scientists via an advertisement in the Economist in August 2006.

Steorn's technology is based on the interaction of magnetic fields and allows the production of clean, free and constant energy. The technology can be applied to virtually all devices requiring energy, from cellular phones to cars.

The Steorn panel was oversubscribed several times with hundreds of qualified scientists applying to be part of the jury. The final jury hail from several of the world's leading academic/scientific institutions. There will be representation on the panel from the US and several European countries.

According to the Steorn website, the short list of 492 applicants who filed sufficient details, from which the twelve finalists were selected, represent: 262 degrees, 127 masters degrees, 103 doctorates, 3074 published academic papers and 4220 years of experience.

The jury have all agreed to see the testing process through to its completion and have their names and findings disclosed once the testing is complete. Steorn has agreed not to identify members of the jury until the results are made public, to protect their privacy and avoid unnecessary interruptions to their work.

Sean McCarthy, CEO of Steorn, commented: "We are very excited to have the contracts in place with this group of highly qualified individuals, because it means we can finally get on with the validation stage. We ourselves have always been confident in the technology but believe that the calibre of the jury will play an important part in helping us to convince the skeptics."

Steorn anticipates that testing will begin early in the New Year. The precise timetable for the testing phase will be determined by the jurors, as will the location and format of the test process. Once the testing is complete the results will be made public via the Steorn website.

As of this writing, 78284 people have registered to be notified of the results.
Source: http://pesn.com/2006/12/02/9500439_Steorn_jury_contracts_finalized/

There doesn't appear to be a final date for the publication of the results and findings.

Dave
 
For those interested in other prospective perpetual motion claims, there is work by Reidar Finsrud and myself (separate cases).

I have a website at: http://www.nathancoppedge.com/Perpetual_Motion.html in which I have arrived at novel principles for simple over-unity involving imbalanced leverage, horizontal wheels, and a similar principle to the ramped spindle called the master angle or Escher Machine (now searchable under multimedia at Wikipedia).

Finsrud has more press attention, but I feel my work may be much more significant, particularly if the claims are true that he has been using batteries in his pendulums. Unbeknownst to most, I may be the true inventor of perpetual motion, contrary to all prior claims to the contrary.

Before visiting my website, you may wish to consider the Three Proofs I have formulated, which seem to leave room for exceptions in physics:

3 Proofs (when taken together):

1. Friction does not eliminate motion where motion is permitted.
2. Reactions are possible in a circle, as shown by dominoes. Wheels can turn.
3. Dominoes can chain-react using higher and higher altitudes. Energy can be created.

Following from these three points, it follows that there may be cases where energy can be created in a circle, and friction would not reduce it's motion if motion is sometimes permitted. In other words, friction is not always a wall.
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
5,669
This could work for me. I have been developing my matter transfer device for years and may as well work perpetual motion into the scheme. My objective is to eventually be able to beam my ex-wife to the center of a brick wall. Development is ongoing but should anyone wish to send me money please do so.

Thank You & Have a Nice Day
Ron

P.S. I thought these threads were a violation of the rules?
 
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