There's No Such Thing As Free Electricitygreenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
There's No Such Thing As Free Electricity
May 26, 2001 By Leslie Knopp
SEA-TAC - If someone told you they could get you free electricity, you'd probably listen, right?
Of course, it's impossible. But, in the middle of this energy crisis, it sounded good to Sea-Tac resident Dan Burrington.
"I thought it was a good idea," he said.
A friend told him about an inventor named Dennis Lee. Lee's New Jersey-based company, International Tesla Electric, claims it has a revolutionary generator that makes free energy.
"They will install the generator. They will maintain maintenance, and you can have all the free electricity you want. Sounds good?" said Burrington.
"Once it gets going, it will generate more electricity than it takes the motor to drive it. Basically perpetual motion," adds Burrington.
'This Is Clearly A Scam'
Washington Better Business Bureau's Angela McCrea has a different take.
"It would be breaking some very important rules of physics and thermodynamics," she said. "This is clearly a scam."
McCrea says Lee travels the country selling certificates entitling you to a generator. Dan's cost $13, but others have paid $275, or more.
Lee claims he needs to get 1,600,000 people signed up before he can start giving out the generators. So, no one has actually seen the machine in person.
"Really this is all about money about Dennis Lee taking money from consumers," said McCrea
State law enforcement is already familiar with Lee's claims. In the past two decades, he's had run-ins with the law in at least five states, including Washington.
In 1985, he violated Washington's consumer laws and was fined $31,000. McCrea says he never paid up.
Save It For Your Real Power Bill
The Seattle Better Business Bureau is certain Lee is doing marketing here in the state. The office just got a call from one Seattle man who was planning on investing $25,000 in the generator. Luckily, he didn't make the investment.
KOMO 4 News tried contacting International Tesla but weren't able to reach anyone.
"We think he's back," says McCrea. This time he's using our energy crisis as a hook.
Dan Burrington has a better suggestion for your money: save it for your electric bill.
"You're going to need it!"
-- Martin Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 27, 2001
Oh, but there is free electricity!
It's called wind and photovoltaics.
And then let's not forget the methane digestors.
The problem is you have a significant upfront cost.
-- (email@example.com), May 27, 2001.
In the case of this man, his past record indicates that his marketing efforts are probably not backed up by any useful device.
But: As a degreed and experienced Mechanical Engineer, with technical expertise in the Laws of Physics involved, the possibility of such a device must not be prejudicially ruled out. The reason is because the First Law of Thermodynamics, in its complete Eiensteinian form includes a "MC squared" term, representing the possibility of mass energy conversion. So little mass becomes so much energy that the mass loss for the amounts of energy involved are too low to measure. For any such claimed device, proper testing must be done, but the test results should be accepted on their face, if the testing is done properly. The trouble with trying to measure mass loss is because any mechanical device with moving parts abrades, with small amounts of mass effectively "sublimated" into vapors which float away into the air. The Einsteinian mass loss is so low as to be a small fraction of this normal abrasion effect, thus difficult to measure even with advanced test methods.
The Patent Office must not reject a patent application for a "perpetual motion device" out of hand, as there is a possibility of Einsteinian mass energy conversion. This constitutes the same type of prejudice that caused Copernicus to be ostracized for hypothesizing that the Earth was not the center of the universe, but that the Earth revolved around the Sun.
Also: Man's knowledge of the Laws of Physics is not complete or perfect, and probably never will be. If the results of properly conducted tests, replicated when repeated, don't agree with Man's "Laws of Physics", then the Laws are incorrect by definition, and need revision.
Bear in mind that this statement is from a fully accredited and educated expert in the technical issues involved.
-- Robert Riggs (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 27, 2001.
Fantastic post, Robert Riggs! Good explainin', man.
You're correct about the "inventor" in the article being dodgy, or so it appears. But your mind is more properly open than lots of engineering-types :) who proclaim knowledge of the true boundaries of science. Too many are trained as experts, and they aren't used to thinking in areas were knowledge is hazy or conceptual.
"Also: Man's knowledge of the Laws of Physics is not complete or perfect, and probably never will be. If the results of properly conducted tests, replicated when repeated, don't agree with Man's "Laws of Physics", then the Laws are incorrect by definition, and need revision. "
--The key were here is PROPERLY, as in "properly conducted tests." Philosophy of Science is a whole academic field which focuses on this and surrounding issues. It's the branch of epistemology that focuses on our greatest truth-seeking success - SCIENCE. Ask any new age guru, they'll agree that it makes sense to focus on past successes rather than on past failures. Anyhow, they been working on it for at least 3000 years, and they still haven't come up with the answer. And being philosophers, there is some talk that perhaps even the question itself has been forgotten.
I'm saying that try as we might, humans still aren't too good at discerning good science from bad science just from the outside cues. The best approach is often "suck it and see."
I think a promising field for "free" energy generation is the utilisation of processes which generate energy from previously plentiful and valueless items, eg water, dirt, garbage, shit, waste. It would take novel reactions to do much of this gainfully. I think I know of a company which has achieved success with such endeavours.
-- number six (email@example.com), May 29, 2001.
The implications from investigations into
quantum physics produced results that were
a challenge to the layperson's "common sense."
The increase in CP violations to this law
has shaken these tenets to its roots. New
theories are even more "nonsensical" than
There is also the problem with singularities
that require the use of both quantum mechanics
and general relativity to explain, e.g., black
holes. The problem results in that these two
theories are mutually incompatible. Many have
begun to lean towards String theory or Membrane
theory to solve this crisis in physics.
Where Quantum theory was responsible for the
integrated circuit and eventually the computer,
String theory will bring about another revolution
in the way we view the Universe.
-- spider (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 29, 2001.