Recent weeks have brought few new developments on the Steorn front, as we continue to await the July demo.
Sean took part in two interviews, both of which are available online. The first interview (click for audio – interview begins 11 minutes in) was on the Dublin radio show The Last Word, where Sean revealed that the original plan was for the jury validation phase to last up to 2 years, but that now he’s expecting it to be completed by the end of this year or early 2008. The second interview (click for audio) was with Will Gorman, writer of the Free Energy Tracker blog. Being much more familiar than the average interviewer with the subject of Steorn, Will was able to ask some very incisive questions. Sean fills in details about the principle behind Orbo, the release plan and the recent presentation at University College Dublin. He also softens his statements made during that presentation about the relationship between Orbo and dark matter/dark energy, explaining that he’s not making a claim about a specific connection between the two, but only pointing out that dark energy represents yet another source of energy currently unknown to science.
Sean’s UCD presentation has spurred a great deal of discussion on the Steorn forums and elsewhere about magnetic viscosity, the principle supposedly at work in Orbo. In response to my summary of Sean’s talk, Korkskrew wrote the following:
You have one important error in your description. When the magnets are repelling the force before the “lag” effect is greater than after, or to say it another way, the force decreases with time. When the magnets are attracting each other the force increases with time. Either way, the “bouncing ball” loses energy. I think Steorn’s point is that nobody can explain where the energy goes. It appears to vanish. That’s as much of a violation of the conservation of energy as a gain is.
Their real trick is that they claim to have found a way to exploit this effect for an energy gain.
This link was posted to the Steorn forums, describing a speculative arrangement of magnets that might exploit magnetic viscosity to gain energy. However, Lister responded by disagreeing with Steorn’s assessment of magnetic viscosity:
Magnetic viscosity is a well known ‘phenomenon’ (at least relatively speaking) and the reason for its existence is also well understood. However that is hardly reason to believe that free energy could be produced from it – quite the contrary, it is an energy loss mechanism. (Loss meaning that useful energy is converted into low grade heat)
The author of that page is basing the ‘energy gain’ on a misunderstanding of the ‘viscosity’ mechanism.
And so the debate goes on. Anyone interested in following the controversy over how Steorn may or may not be employing magnetic viscosity to harvest free energy might find the FizzX forum interesting; it is dedicated to the topic of replicating Orbo. A few people (such as DrMike) are working to test Steorn’s claims about magnetic viscosity on their own; with any luck we won’t have to wait until the “jury” releases its results to find out whether the principle behind Orbo can be demonstrated outside of Steorn’s workshop.