Steorn's marketing campaignFrance is known for its artists, Germany for its conductors, Italy for its opera singers, England for its thespians, and Ireland for its literary giants. Names like James Joyce, Seamus Heaney, Maeve Binchy, and William Butler Yeats roll off the tongue when we discuss that brilliantly contemplative, Guinness-drenched country.
However, Ireland may soon take its place on the world stage as the next scientific wonderland. In the 1990s, it made a name for itself as the technology capital of Western Europe; and now, budding from kernels planted in the era of the Celtic Tiger, is a new discovery that could potentially overhaul everything we think we know about science. Free energy: free energy that breaks the first law of thermodynamics and will turn the world on its head if the rumors are true. (Click here to read the Gizmag article.)
Steorn logoDublin-based company, Steorn, was founded in 2000 to develop e-commerce sites. That market soon took a dip and Steorn expanded its services to include forensic research for the Irish government. In the process of developing a more economical micro-generator in 2003, engineers and scientists at the company apparently stumbled upon what looks to be a scientific anomaly. They claim their experiments show dramatically higher energy yields than the input will allow under current scientific thinking. The first law of thermodynamics is essentially:
output = input – work or dU = dQ – dW.
As we might remember from ninth grade science class, the law of the conservation of energy states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only change form. Well, according to Steorn, their tests involving magnetic fields display output that is up to 400% greater than the input minus work. In other words, energy is created. Quite a bit, in fact.
Steorn CEO Sean McCarthy
In August 2006, Steorn issued a full-page ad in “The Economist” magazine challenging the scientific world to evaluate their findings. The company is in the process of choosing a 12 person panel composed of the most qualified of the thousands of bidding scientists. That panel should be established and announced within the next couple of weeks. Once it’s in place, three phases of testing will ensue that Steorn hopes will establish its place among the pioneering elite.
But scientific glory doesn’t seem to be everything to this team. Their promotional video (see it on youtube.com) hints at a social awareness of what free energy might mean to the developing world. There’s also a keen awareness that, if their technology is proven solid, they’ll have a multi-billion dollar energy industry coming at them full-steam. Innovators, particularly in the automotive industry, who brave tackling that beast regularly find their work suppressed.
Steorn’s not the only player in the free energy game. A California-based company called Magnetic Power, Inc. has been working on a similar technology for the past few years. Their web site says, “Our own laboratory results confirm what Steorn is saying.” The online letter from Magnetic Power Inc.’s chairman and CEO lends enthusiastic support to the Irish company. There seems to be camaraderie in facing scientific skeptics and economic giants.
Free energy would be convenient, easy on the wallet, and environmentally safe. No more gas station stops, no more laptop recharges, no more high heat bills, no political arguments about emissions standards. But if it turns out our paradigm for how the laws of thermodynamics operate is turned on its head, there will surely be other consequences in all realms of study. Historically, when a scientific law is challenged and overturned a new understanding of humanity’s place in the cosmos emerges. But that’s another story for a future blog, if indeed Steorn triumphs. For now, we’ll pray the luck of the Irish lends itself to this revolutionary company as it dips its toe in a charged global discussion.