Midweek Cuckoo: Steorn Ltd

free-energy.jpgThe three laws of thermodynamics are roughly paraphrased as: you can’t get something for nothing, you can’t win, and you have to lose. Anyone who’s lived long enough to really experience the universe intuitively knows these things to be true. And yet there are people who believe that they can cheat these laws and obtain free energy, or create perpetual motion machines. It’s for no small reason that the US, UK and European Patent offices refuse to issue a patent for anything that even hints at being a perpetual motion machine or free energy device without there being a working prototype.

There have been recorded attempts at creating such devices since the 8th century, and there have been many histories and collections of such attempts, but this month there’s a new player on the scene: an Irish IT company that claims it has invented a free energy machine, and has challenged scientists to test it.

Six days ago, Steorn Ltd took out a full page ad in the Economist, calling on scientists to apply to be part of a 12-person expert panel to validate their free energy device. On the surface, this almost seems like a legitimate offer, but as soon as you look a little closer, you start to see cracks:

  • Firstly, one columnist reckons that for the cost of a full page spread in the Economist, Steorn could have built about 10 working prototypes and convinced the US Patent office 10 times over. The expense doesn’t make sense.
  • Their choice to take out a spread in a popular magazine rather than publish a letter to a scientific journal is immediately suspicious. They admit they’re trying to get public support, which screams marketing campaign, not technological breakthrough.
  • They claim that scientists have already tested the device and have found it to work. But they won’t name these scientists, and none of the scientists have published any findings. Personally, I think it’s because there aren’t actually any such scientists.
  • They want the final decision on which scientists do the testing. So it’s hardly an independent verification. They could be hand picking the scientists who’ve agreed to lie for money, for all we know.
  • They want the testing to happen behind closed doors. Big red light, there.
  • They claim the technology is patent pending, but in actual fact they have only filed for patents for parts of the device which do not constitute a perpetual motion device, citing the previously mentioned patent office restrictions. My question is, if they have a working prototype, as they claim to, why not just get the patent for the full device? According to their claims, they have already satisfied all requirements for patenting a perpetual motion device. Answer – they’re lying about having a prototype. People don’t just pass up the chance of patenting the greatest breakthrough in technology in centuries, and all the money that goes with it.

Really, how does a IT company that’s dabbled in e-commerce, project management and fraud detection suddenly develop the skills to revolutionise all of physics? According to their website, “Steorn has developed technology to help combat counterfeiting and fraud in the plastic card and optical disc industries.” Pity they haven’t applied that technology to the perpetual motion industry. 

 According to one theory, Steorn are retooling themselves as a marketing company and are using this free energy nonsense to show potential clients the value of viral marketing. I would certainly not be surprised to discover that it’s all a publicity stunt. But I prefer the idea that they’re quietly blowing spit bubbles into their Guinness over there in Dublin.

(hat tip to Andy M)

11 Responses to “Midweek Cuckoo: Steorn Ltd”

  1. I was starting to get worried. It’s been a while since we’ve had a decent perpetual motion claim, but I see my concerns were all for naught.

  2. Synkronos Says:

    Bah. If it is viral marketing, then you are in fact helping them out by passing it on. What, they can’t do _real_ advertising, so they need to rely on underhanded tricks to make themselves heard? Yeah, that’s reeeal good publicity.

  3. we’re talking/thinking about it, so it is good publicity. some people would rather be famous for being an idiot than not be famous.

  4. yeah, like that guy who thought the Onion was serious reporting.

  5. Ah, but Synk, that’s the core of advertising. In three years, more than half of those “cool clips” being passed around via email will be specifically placed viral advertising. If not more: it’s becoming the new way to do a TV ad on the cheap.

  6. I found the fact that they asked for an E-mail address on the front page of their Web site to be suspicious. Re-inventing themselves as a marketing company makes a lot of sense in that context.

    Perhaps their Free Energy Machine produces cheap, herbal Viagra that can be compacted into authentic looking Rolexes, and they are just ensuring that they have an efficient way to dispose of the waste products?

  7. The laws of thermodynamics CAN be broken, watch the first 11 Mins of this video…ZPE will power us into the future.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5738531568036565057&q=Zero+point+energy

  8. yes, you can extract energy from the zero point energy field, and no, it DOES NOT break the laws of thermodynamics because the ZPE field is NOT a thermal reservoir. This has all been known for a very long time.

    What people like Valone forget to tell you is that in experiments like Forward’s Vacuum Fluctuation Battery, separation of the plates for a second cycle takes more energy than what was gained in the first cycle. So well done, you’ve shown zero point energy can be extracted creating a tiny net output of energy….ONCE. As soon as you try to get the battery to output a second time, you’re back to less than unity. Big whoop. Absolutely zero practical application.

    BTW Tom Valone is obsessed with free energy to the point that it clouds his judgment, and was actually fired from his job at the US Patent Office because he is incapable of being objective when it comes to the subject. He got the removal arbitrated down to a 30 day suspension without pay, but you need to understand that you cannot trust Valone to give you the whole story.

  9. residentRsole Says:

    I used to follow this kind of stuff. But as I learned more and more about physics, I began to learn how to question their claims effectively. I find that my once very open mind is closing.

  10. what if there is way to make free energy . i think i mite have the way but i am flat broke if i had the money i could have it i am sure thanks chad

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