Thursday, February 28, 2008

No Stoern For You! Next!

Here’s an update to the Stoern Orbo project that I posted about here. As a refresher, Stoern was a company that claimed to have made an energy device that emitted more energy than it consumed, a machine that produces a net gain in energy.

Last November Wired wrote about 10 Snake Oil Gadgets. Basically this reviews ten gadgets whose inventors make fantastic and impossible or suspicious claims and, surprise, surprise, can’t deliver. Stoern’s Orbo made the list:


When it comes to gadgets, perpetual motion machines are bullshit's bread and butter. Steorn, the Irish company behind Orbo, is only the latest in a long line of deluded, incompetent or fraudulent firms to claim the scalp of the laws of thermodynamics. File this one under deluded: enthusiastically setting up a public display, the inventors were humiliated when it failed to operate. But wait! Steorn gave its deal to 22 scientists who'll "validate" the device. Don't hold your breath, chaps.

Perhaps it's art, a complex exploitation of media credulity and skeptics' blood pressure. Perhaps its a clever-dick ad for Steorn's marketing abilities. What it isn't, however, is a free energy machine.

Think it might be real? For the love of Liebniz, get a freakin' clue: if it looks like a toy and the net gain is almost imperceptibly small, you're selling a measurement error.

The Age has an article in which the problem is put very distinctly:

"Oh, goodness, what can I say?" said Martin Sevior, associate professor at Melbourne University's School of Physics. "It violates a very fundamental principle of physics, and flies in the face of 2000-years-plus of physics. It's an incredibly big claim."

One of the basic principles of physics is that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only change form.

‘nuff said on Stoern, methinks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Strange. The orbo graphic looks a lot like the logo for Orb networks (software). Any relation?