I blogged about Eestor recently. That’s not an anomalous energy patent, but an electrical capacitance alternative to the internal combustion engine. Will it work commercially and socially ? The point is that there may be reasons for engineering scepticism, but the basic physics is not (yet) in doubt.
Brian Josephson has been a regular champion against sceptics in physics, who let their scepticism get the better of their scientific judgement, when anomalous effects are reported. “Cold Fusion” (more accurately low-energy or solid state fusion) is alive and well despite the heavy guns of received wisdom in physics arrainged against it.
Sam sent me a link to Steorn Technology. Like low-energy fusion it seems to be an anomalous excess energy effect, something magnetic, but the difference here is that the “discoverers” and patent holders are giving nothing away as to what the physics might be. In fact, assuming the whole thing is not just some start-up funding scam, their approach is to say we’re just engineers, we challenge serious scientists to explain it. Their FAQ sums it up,
Is this a:
1. Marketing ploy. Such as “Steorn: Remember what we did with a fake product, think what we can do for your real one.”
2. A scam
3. You are too weak technically to realize it is not really a free energy device
3. The Jury will decide.
Be interesting to see how their quest progresses. Like the low-energy fusion anomalous energy, explaining the physics is one thing, harnessing technology is another.
The point here is that the impossibility of a perpetual motion machine is such an anathema, that the possibility of an as yet unexplained natural energy source is too easily discounted. Josephson – Nobel physicist – goes so far as to suggest that physics is not the most fundamental reality, though to be fair by that he means physics as current explained by quantum mechanics.
Which brings us to J.S.Mill again. Claiming to believe in the contingency of scientific knowledge is one thing. Acting that way is another. Which of course is back full circle to Chris Argyris too … the behavioural distinction (in social organisations) between “espoused theories” and “theories in use”.