Posted by bert hubert Sat, 26 Aug 2006 18:53:00 GMT
The Steorn thing mentioned in my previous post appears to be going strong, quite a number of people have been investigating the company and their claims. Given the statements made by Steorn, things discovered about their past, the nature of their actions, three possible situations remain possible:
- They have found something real
- They are really really crooked and onto their last straw, and haven’t thought it through
- They are deluding themselves
Situation 1 would be cool. Situation 2 requires them not to be thinking straight - it appears they are not going to be accepting or even seeking any money unless their technology is vindicated. Situation 3 has happened in the past. It might be that some of their engineers are faking measurements, and have convinced the rest of the company.
I’m afraid it might be 3, but 1 is still a real possibility. There has been some speculation on forums that the physics of permanent magnets isn’t as solid as you might think.
A nice quote by Tatiana Makarova of Umea University, who has discovered the first carbon magnets:
“Only a few people understand or think they understand how a permanent magnet works,” says Makarova. “The magnet of everyday life is not a simple thing. It’s a quantum-mechanics thing.”
So it is not that outlandish that something might be hiding in there. I’ve tried to follow carbon magnet research a bit, it appears that as of 2006 it has been confirmed abundantly, but not explained. More detail here.
All very interesting. One sad possibility is that the Steorn device might only be cooling the air around it a bit, because of thermodynamic effects of magnetic domain randomisation/ordering.
It appears the Steorn people are aware of this possibility though, given how they stress a full thermodynamic evaluation will be needed.