Challenge Takes ‘The Economist’ by ‘Steorn’

Irish firm throws down gauntlet 

Dublin-based technology risk management company, Steorn, has challenged the scientific community to prove it wrong. In an advertisement found in the most recent issue of The Economist it has challenged scientists and engineers to test the firm’s free-energytechnology and publish the findings. The challenge appears real, but is the technology?

Steorn states that from all the scientists who accept their challenge, twelve will be invited to take part in a rigorous testing exercise to prove (or disprove) that Steorn’s technology creates free-energy (also known as over-unity). The results will be published worldwide.

According to Steorn the technology is based on the interaction of magnetic fields and allows the production of clean, free and constant energy. The technology can be scaled to virtually all devices requiring energy, from cellular phones to cars.

Assuming their claims can be validated, Steorn intends to license its technology to organizations within the energy sector. It will allow use of its technology royalty-free for certain purposes including water and rural electrification projects in Third World countries.

The Challenge

Sean McCarthy, CEO of Steorn, has said that he posted this challenge in the pages of The Economist to catch the attention of academicians, scientists and researchers. However, his choice of this eminent and widely read business publication is clearly gauged to catch the eye of business institutions and potentially — funders.

It is rare that such a “throwing down the gauntlet” occurs in so public a forum. But Steorn knows that its claims will encounter substantial cynicism as it goes against a basic principle of physics: the conservation of energy. So its defense is to begin with a bold offense.

Patents filed by Steorn could also encounter the skepticism of various patent offices, which will not grant patents for “perpetual motion” machines. So Steorn has not patented their core technology. Rather, they have filed a sequence of patents which describe various aspects of the technology but not its overall effects. One such patent suggests an arrangement of magnets and a magnetic shield on a linear slide to act as a low-energy actuator switch turning the magnetic fields on and off.

If verified then this device would be a remarkable achievement. If not, it joins a long list of failed or delayed free-energy devices including other magnetic shield devices and the Motionless Electromagnetic Generator (MEG), reportedly still in “engineering development” after many years of burning through funding capital.

©2006 Gregory Daigle

Gregory Daigle is a consultant in social technologies and e-learning and has been a professor of industrial design. His articles and blog are at The Unlit Pipe.

Originally published August 19, 2006