Steorn challenge

Everyone with even a passing interest in science will have heard about the challenge to science published as a full-page ad in The Economist by Irish company Steorn. Steorn has developed a system it reckons challenges the First Law of Thermodynamics, one of the fundamental principles of science. Such a challenge offers the possibility of limitless clean energy and Steorn is keen to recruit twelve of the most sceptical scientists to test their technology.

The technology is essentially an all-magnet motor, with no electromagnetic components. Physicists would say that such a device should be impossible, even theoretically. Steorn CEO Sean McCarthy told Ireland’s RTE radio that, “What we have developed is 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.” Cynics will recognise the hints of perpetual motion machinery in that description and conspiracy theorists will nod knowingly to learn many scientists asked to test the device simply hang-up.

The response of Martin Sevior, a physicist at Melbourne University is typical, “Oh, goodness, what can I say?” he told The Age, “It violates a very fundamental principle of physics, and flies in the face of 2000-years-plus of physics. It’s an incredibly big claim.” It certainly is, Steorn is claiming to have found either a way of either tapping into an unknown form of energy or else it is creating energy from nothing with its technology.Modern physics throws out countless theories that fly in the face of common sense, but this seems different. Even quantum physics doesn’t claim to create energy from nothing…oh wait a minute, what’s that about particle-anti-particle pairs spontaneously appearing in a vaccuum, you say? The scientific jury is yet to convene, but we will endeavour to keep you informed of the latest developments. Stern stuff indeed.

For more on the Steorn story, check out the Sciscoop.com site.

You can read their ad here (available as a pdf.

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12 thoughts on “Steorn challenge

  1. That’s right. I’m all for stepping outside the box, but worried about being a neighsayer, does that mean it was a horsebox?

    Sorry, had to get that in.

    Steorn didn’t apparently come up with the goods in the end, they seemingly demonstrated and proved nothing. There is nothing to explain.

  2. After reading the postings made here, I truly had to interject. There will always be many neighsayers, more so from our so called scientific community. It goes a little like this… a law was writen by a man (woman) or men etc. and it has been taught in our educational systems as the gosspel truth without exception. Thus leaving us with a narrow minded bunch of so called scientists who are to unable to step outside of the proverbial box … even for just a moment.
    I am of the belief that if what Steorn is claiming has any ring of truth to it, then there will be no difficulty observing these so called aberations, through practical testing. If our so called scientific community can not explain, nor dismiss his findings… then it just is what it is, and we need to find a practical apllication for this device.

    Moving along, I to have been working off another man’s theory and unfulfilled dreams, inexcess of five years. I have studied what information is available and began my work. After too numerous to mention, design modifications and testing it would appear as though my final design will function and produce a useable amount of f e. I have not asked for any publicity nor any public funding. I should have the primary sytem built by December 2009. If all goes as predicted based upon preliminary testing, I will repost and send out invitations to the scientific community to come and observe the testing, and general function of this unit.

    In short not everythig has to come out of a labratory in a University the reciprocating engine would be a fine example of this.

  3. So Alex18c, what you’re trying to say is that chunks of magnetic materials formed deep in the earth’s crust over millions of years are somehow “worn out” after a couple of millennia or so..? Hmmm…

    And, “tapping off” energy from a recently formed magnetic material will wear it out, sooner rather than later, so that we will never see the full potential of Steorn-type free-energy?

  4. l really don’t want to be a pessimist but a magnet loses its magnetic capability after only 1 or 2 thousand years and this machine in that time hasn’t even produced half of the necessary energy used to create its magnets.

    I hope I was wrong.

  5. Alex18c, I’m not entirely sure what point you are making, the laws of electromagnetism are pretty well understood, are you saying that somehow we can “tap off” pent up atomic alignments in a magnetic material without doing work? That seems to be the claim of the inventors of such magnetic perpetual motion machines. If that is the case, then that is impossible without losing those alignments and the magnet failing to sustain its magnetic character.

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