Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The laws of physics being rewritten?

On July 4, the long awaited demo from London of Steorn’s new Orbo device, which supposedly creates a steady stream of energy from magnetic fields, was to be unveiled.
Orbo produces free, clean and constant energy - that is our claim. By free we mean that the energy produced is done so without recourse to external source. By clean we mean that during operation the technology produces no emissions. By constant we mean that with the exception of mechanical failure the technology will continue to operate indefinitely.

The sum of these claims for our Orbo technology is a violation of the principle of conservation of energy, perhaps the most fundamental of scientific principles. The principle of the conservation of energy states that energy can neither be created or destroyed, it can only change form.

Because of the revolutionary nature of our claim, not only to the world of science but to the world in general, Steorn issued a challenge to the scientific community in August 2006 to test our technology and report their findings. The process of validation that has resulted from this challenge is currently underway, with results expected by the end of 2007.
Could Steorn have found a way to rewrite the laws of physics? Maybe not.


Greg said...

This reminds me of a Simpsons episode. Does anyone remember when Bart suddenly becomes the "favorite" child, and this starts driving Lisa to seek more and more attention from her parents? Finally she shows her dad her "Perpetual Motion Machine," but Homer scolds her, "Lisa, in this house we obey the laws of physics!"

Chairman said...

It's interesting that people are generally pre-conditioned to be haters (from an evolutionary psychology perspective, it's generally safer to make an approach error than an avoidance error - if you don't avoid a hunter, you're done, but if you make an error in hunting prey, you only go hungry). So, when potentially revolutionary things come about, we rely on dogma (see past histories with science back in the old days, when the earth was the center of the universe) and are skeptics, often to our detriment.

This Orbo seems to be bunk because it violates physics at a macro level, which we know very well. However, in areas that we don't know as well, there is often room for cutting edge physics to violate laws that we think apply, but don't specifically apply because we don't understand things well enough (note, many very smart people were very wrong when it came to things like relativity back in modern history).

A very interesting ongoing debate is with folks like Eric Drexler with nanotechnology. Some are convinced that he's a kook. Others think that his visionary. We'll see where he ends up, historically. Thing is, his arguments are fundamentally that physics changes when you get to a nanoscale. So far, some of his claims have come to reality, while many of them are still too far off in the future to be really tested. If you get a chance to skim through either "Engines of Creation" or "Unbounding the Future," you can get a visionary look at potential technology advances in a relatively non-technical format. Some of the stuff comes off as kooky, and most of the stuff is too far off to disprove, but it's pretty interesting stuff.