Magnetic energy? Perhaps

Ivan Seeking
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Main Question or Discussion Point

"Magnetic energy? Perhaps"

Okay, I had to post this one...

First I saw this
Goldes, 73, is chief executive of a small company called Magnetic Power Inc., which has spent years researching ways to, yes, generate power using magnets
which just about had me coming out of the chair - ever heard of a generator? But it gets better.

What Goldes believes he's done is produce power from what physicists call zero-point energy. In simple terms, zero-point energy results from the infinitesimal motion of molecules even when seemingly at rest.
And here's the part that will get a real reaction I'd bet:
But Goldes isn't so easy to shrug off. That's because he's also come up with technology called the UltraConductor, which purports to be capable of conducting electricity at room temperature with no resistance, thus vastly improving fuel efficiency.

The research was funded in part by the Department of Defense, which invested $600,000 in the project.
See the entire article here:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/09/07/BUG9NEJD3L1.DTL
 
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Answers and Replies

David
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I thought that the very last sentence of the article was revealing: "Then again, what if he's right?"

This thought is exactly what keeps these people going and is the mechanism they use to attract funding. (And it's the reason why crappy articles like this get written.) Like the venture capitalists say, the worst you can do on an investment like this is lose all your money. (Unsaid is that the return on investment is essentially unlimited, and so it could be a rational investment to make.) However, that choice assumes that there is actually some non-zero chance of it working and we know from the laws of physics that is not the case.

This part is also important: "Stanley Wojcicki, a Stanford physics professor, said it may be possible to generate small amounts of power from zero-point energy, but not in any sustainable way."

It is possible to extract energy (in a sense) from the vacuum, for example my exploiting the Casimir effect to induce some motion. However, that motion will cease until you reset the system by putting energy back in. And that is the problem. Overall, you can't get out more energy than you put it.

Something that is common to nearly all of these attempts where people seem to see more energy coming out than they put in is that they either don't account for all the energy they are putting in, or the amount of excess energy is smaller than the uncertainties inherent in their measuring instruments.

It's is also common to every single one of these projects that I have heard about is that the person doesn't want to let anybody else examine the detailed apparatus.

So all in all, yet another of these bad stories about something that can't work, but which feeds on a desperate hope of getting something for nothing.
 
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Tax-payers money, hard at work. Sorry to be skeptic on this but I think our money and good marketing is the only thing working here.
 
matthyaouw
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"Einstein worked in a patent office," Wojcicki observed. "All sorts of people can have brilliant ideas."
DING DING DING!!!! Crackpot alert!!

Oh dear, they used the infamous Einstein line :rofl:
 
Ivan Seeking
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David said:
I thought that the very last sentence of the article was revealing: "Then again, what if he's right?"
Welcome to PF David.

This was my favorite part
"We're still having trouble making it repeatable, but we think that's more an engineering problem than a scientific problem," he said.
 
SGT
deckart said:
Tax-payers money, hard at work. Sorry to be skeptic on this but I think our money and good marketing is the only thing working here.
If you are worried about your tax dollars, what do you think of spending them to have a Star Trek teleportation device?
 
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Now that is outrageous.
 
1,120
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I think anything thats being done with public money, should be done in open view. With full details available to anyone who wishes to see them.
 
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hypatia said:
I think anything thats being done with public money, should be done in open view. With full details available to anyone who wishes to see them.
Actually, there might be some exceptions to that. Just for the sake of national security. But, it would be nice to have an objective/unbiased panel to determine what is and what is not.
 
Johann
Isn't something like 99% of scientific research a waste of money anyway? What is the difference between crackpots and, say, string theorists?
 
Ivan Seeking
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Johann said:
Isn't something like 99% of scientific research a waste of money anyway? What is the difference between crackpots and, say, string theorists?
"Crackpot" has many interpretations. In one context often used it refers to anyone with whom one disagrees. Other times it refers to one who makes claims that have no basis in fact. Other times it simply refers to failed logic. But generally speaking, a crackpot is a person who has nothing but arm waiving arguments to support their position which often denies established facts. String theory is a mathematical model, not arm waiving, that could be consistent with two established theories, GR and QM, but one which, as far as we know, offers no testable hypotheses. The difference between this and the typical crackpot is the mathematics. ST is a mathematical model and not just wild speculation. That's the difference. But can it ever satisfy the criteria for a credible scientific model that can be tested? Probably not. At best it seems that we might one day infer it to be correct.
 
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Evo
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This must be the world famous David I've heard so much about. When I saw the member date and & the science advisor ribbon, it threw me for a moment.

Welcome back David.
 
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I have heard of some work in progress using magnetism to improve the efficiency of current flow. In the beginning of our use of the abundant energies of this planet, little thought was given to waste, the potential for good, and for profit were so high, and it was so new, that no one thought to put in place highly efficient systems, they just put in working systems, as quickly as they could, and the markets sprang up that drove continued use. Our inventiveness and creativity have kept a dead heat with our ability to produce the power, to power our evolving needs and uses. The only barrier was potential for profit for any given usage.

Now there is room, and acute necessity for reassessment of every use of energy. This is a matter of national security as our world warms, our airlines go bankrupt over fuel prices, as we face the fact that we have pulled the tail of the creature that for so long bestowed our creature comforts, machines that walk for us, machines that warm us, and perform the myriad of things they do. The cost of this is now bankrupting us, and much bigger fish than me are on the ropes.

So the persons I know that were working on smoothing, and containing electrical current so much less is lost, and what is there is highly facilitated, are on one of the right tracks, this is not crackpot science. It is work on making more efficient use of what we have.
 
Pengwuino
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And why won't the government give me any financial aid again?

I can't even seem to find this company on google...

And the address is a PO Box lol

Whats going on here :P
 
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Chronos
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Forgive my skepticism, but don't you think every electric utility on the planet would be falling all over themselves trying to master this 'technology' if it actually worked? I've personally seen them spend a LOT more money trying out dumber ideas.
 
David
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Evo said:
This must be the world famous David I've heard so much about. When I saw the member date and & the science advisor ribbon, it threw me for a moment.

Welcome back David.
Thanks, Evo. I'm not sure how I came to be world famous... The new member date, etc. are just because I've been out of action in the forums for a couple of years but came back to chat with you all again. (I couldn't remember all my old login info, etc. so started afresh.)
 

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