Permanent Human Settlement of the Earth, Space and Ocean Frontiers

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Perpetual Motion Monster

Editor’s Note: Before I get all wound around yet another axle of discontent among my readers such as with the “Puddles on Mars” controversy, let me excuse my brashness as coming from a rather peculiar source:
I Am An American Scientist.
That means that while the Internet is embedded in the “World Wide” web, I am still an American Scientist embedded in the USA. That has implications – among them is the God granted right of freedom of speech and and a certian degree of implied audacity – all of which were either created behind heaven’s gates or were created right here in the good old USA – things like freedom, like the Internet (with or without Al Gore) and blogs. So, let’s all agree that we can still be scientists and still speak about controversy. If the PC Nazi’s show up and dictate my blog titles, then let’s just go ahead and have another war. We defeated the demons of fascism before and we can do it again.

There – I feel better now. On to the topic at hand….

The Perpetual Motion Monster rears his ugly head from time to time. The last time around it was called “cold fusion”. It all originated in the UK. This time, the UK is back again, but this time it is called “Orbo Steorn”. I know – it only sounds Scandinavian – but it is entirely UK through and thorough. Here’s the claim:

“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.”

Ok - what is this? Is the perpetual motion machine back (again)?

Yes – and big time. The UK company invited a panel of impartial scientific jurors to watch the machine in operation at the Kinentica Museum in London. 5000 applied to the Economist Magazine ad – 12 were selected. The “free energy” demonstration was to be held on July 5th. It was to have a world wide audience and streamed to the web. It never happened. Here is their press release:

"Further to Steorn’s announcement yesterday (5th July) regarding the technical difficulties experienced during the installation of its “Orbo” technology at the Kinentica Museum in London, Steorn has decided to postpone the demonstration until further notice. Sean McCarthy CEO stated that “technical problems arose during the installation of the demonstration unit in the display case on Wednesday evening. These problems were primarily due to excessive heat from the lighting in the main display area. Attempts to replace those parts affected by the heat led to further failures and as a result we have to postpone the public demonstration until a future date.”

What’s going on here? Is this yet another repeat of the Fleishman and Pons cold fusion debacle? Or has someone actually discovered a new way around (as they claim) the clearly laid pathway of the laws of energy and momentum? It seems obvious that these guys are certainly not charlatans, but then neither were Fleishman and Pons. The questions remaining are there: what did they actually discover – and - what happened in the Kinentica Museum that did not happen in their laboratories?

Perpetual motion nonsense? How can we ever know unless we go see? Any scientist who runs away from this show cannot call themselves a true scientist. Whether they succeed or not is never the point – but the method and the finding is very much! And yet, the stuffy, starched coated, arrogant, upward pointed noses of the robed inquisitors remains as always. Rather than finding all of this fascinating beyond measure, they rely on what Leonardo DaVinci referred to as “memory” rather than intellect. As for me, I am very much looking forward to attending the demonstration online. I don’t care if it’s boom or bust for Steorn – it is still interesting and a true-science test for the rest of us.

Check out their website by clicking here.

"Whoever in discussion adduces authority uses not intellect but memory." Leonardo DaVinci