Friday, 6 July 2007

Skeptical about Steorn: Quick introduction

A quick introduction: in August of last year, Steorn burst onto the stage by placing a full-page color ad in The Economist, claiming essentially to have invented a machine that provides unlimited free energy. This obviously violates the principle of the conservation of energy, a fairly fundamental part of physics, so it's a bold claim. Moreover, every time the claim has been made in the past (and it's happened many times), it's always been disproved, and usually revealed to be a fraud.

A full page ad in the Economist doesn't come cheap, so it was certainly an odd thing to do. However, they claimed to be putting their invention through rigorous (though confidential) scientific testing. I guessed it was a scam of some sort and they were looking for (gullible?) investors, though I was mystified as to why they would choose something so incredible - after all, if you're going to make it up, why not keep it within the bounds of science?

But now, the Steorn folk are promising a public demonstration. Strictly, they promised it yesterday (the 5th July), but they're having technical difficulties (due to the heat of the lights, they say). As the site of the demonstration is at the Kinetica museum, right round the corner from me, I decided I would go have a look for myself, just as soon as they sort out their difficulties... and - of course - blog about it here.

So, if you follow this blog, you'll either soon hear about a world-changing, physics-rewriting invention that will free us from global warming, foreign oil dependency, the need to work etc etc. Or you might hear about ongoing technical difficulties.... We'll have to see!

No comments: