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You are here: > News > August 21, 2006

Top 100
Steorn to Push Tipping Point for Magnet Motor Technology

To solidify the credentials of a radical, new energy approach, Irish Company intents to select jury of 12 hard-core skeptics with high academic qualifications to review existing data, then design testing procedure, test, and publish the results.

PESN Interview with Sean McCarthy, Steorn CEO, Aug. 21, 2006

by Sterling D. Allan
Pure Energy Systems News (PESN)
Copyright © 2006

DUBLIN, IRELAND -- Irish high-technology firm, Steorn, has stirred the imagination of the world's scientific community with their recent posting of an advertisement in The Economist on Aug. 18 announcing that they have a working free-energy technology.  The full-page ad stated that their independently-tested technology is capable of providing the world with "an infinite supply of pure energy," so that the need to recharge a phone or refuel a car becomes obsolete.  The brief announcement stated that they are seeking a jury of twelve scientists who are "the most qualified and the most cynical" to test the technology and publish their findings.

Compressed version of ad posted in The Economist; Aug. 18, 2006.

Discovering and Refining a Magnet Motor

The mystery technology turns out to be an all-magnet motor, with no electromagnetic component involved.  Current-day Physics says such a thing is impossible.

"We thought it was impossible too," said Sean McCarthy, CEO of Steorn, in an interview with Sterling D. Allan, Executive Director of PES Network, which over the last four and a half years has been apprised of some twenty different claims to operational magnet motor systems, none of which have been validated.

Specializing for many years in technology to help combat counterfeiting and fraud in the plastic card and optical disc industries, the group at Steorn accidentally stumbled onto this free energy phenomenon three years ago in the course of developing another project.  "It wasn't so much a Eureka moment as a get-back-in-there-and-check-your-instruments moment," said McCarthy. (Ref.)

Sean McCarthy, CEO of Steorn, with a test rig during development.  This is not part of the design to be tested by the scientific jury.


Michael Moriarty, CFO; Michael Daly, COO; and Richard Walshe, Marketing Manager of Steorn


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"What we have developed is a way to construct magnetic fields so that when you travel round the magnetic fields, starting and stopping at the same position, you have gained energy," he told Ireland's RTE radio.

Steorn engineers have built in excess of ten test rigs in the process of testing, characterizing, and optimizing the technology, analyzing various components and possible configurations of the design, McCarthy told PESN. "That has been our prime focus -- to test the hell out of this."

They've also employed element-analysis software.  Integrating what they learned through these various test rigs, they were even able to derive equations that show mathematically that the system will work.  "We've tested scalability, from micro -- the size of a fingernail -- to a macro size," said McCarthy.

Earlier Independent Validations

During this time of development and refinement, Steorn has had a number of independent tests done, each of which has validated the technology.  However, out of fear of damaging their academic reputations, never have those scientists involved in the qualified testing been willing to go public with their findings.   Around 90% of the scientists Steorn approached declined to test one of the devices.  Some just hung up the phone, according to McCarthy.

Seeking On-the-Record Validation

So frustrated with this lack of willingness on the part of accredited personnel to go on the record, McCarthy said that six months ago his company was just about ready to give up the project.  In his view, getting credible scientific confirmation of the technology is foremost.

"This represents a tipping point, not just for Steorn, but for an entire industry," he said.

In order for such a revolutionary technology to have the public support needed for it to become used widely, McCarthy says that confirmation from the academic community will be crucial.  "That is our focus at this point," he said.

McCarthy declined to specify how many prototypes they have built, or how long they have run, how much power they produce, and other details of the design.

All of this documentation will be presented in full to the jury of twelve scientists that are soon to be selected to analyze the technology.  As of the time of this writing, 1,300 people have expressed interest in serving on the jury of scientists; and 15,516 people have signed up to be notified of the results.

The selection of the jury will screen out anyone who has past involvement or other indications that might be construed as showing support of the technology in some form or other.  "We want cynics," said McCarthy.

"We are not seeking validation from the court of public opinion.  What we need is validation from the academic world," he said.  Once that has been achieved, then the public can know.


Fig. 4-6 of Low Energy Magnet Actuator patent application by Steorn. April 6, 2006.

Also at that point -- if the results of the jury are positive -- the commercial development will begin, proceeding with financing, licensing, manufacturing, marketing.  Until then, the company is refusing any offers for investment or licensing rights.  They intend to pay all expenses involved in the jury review of the technology.  This is to dissuade any claims that the company is fraudulently creating a spectacle to raise money.

To protect the intellectual property, the company has filed seven international (PCT) patents, two of which have already become public; another will become available within a few days.

If and when the time comes for commercialization, Steorn will select well-seasoned companies as licensees for manufacturing and marketing.  They want businesses which already have the key infrastructure established, in order to expedite rapid production and dissemination of the technology.  These can further refine the design as needed for various applications.

"We've come up with the transistor; other people can build the microchips", McCarthy said, drawing an analogy.

The Review Process

McCarthy itemized three primary facets that will need to be addressed in any validation of the technology.  The first thing to prove will be that there is indeed mechanical work being done.  The second thing to prove will be that the amount of energy coming from the system is not a function of the amount of energy that went into creating the magnets in the first place.  Finally, the last thing to prove will be that the energy is not coming from some unseen environmental source that can be depleted, such as ambient heat in a room or nearby transmission lines.

"We're a technology company, not Physicists.  We've shown that it can work.  It will be up to the the Physicists to tell us how it works."  That answer may be years, if not decades in coming.

But the core question of whether or not it works, and whether or not it is feasible for implementation as an energy-generating technology is the pressing question that will be presented to the international cross-section of scientists, who will make up the jury of twelve.

But the core question of whether or not it works, and whether or not it is feasible for implementation as an energy generating technology is the pressing question that will be presented to the jury of twelve scientists, drawn from an international cross section.

Each jury member will sign a contract that states that Steorn will provide all funding for the review, and that the results will be published, including disclosure of each jury member's name and credentials.  Once convened in Dublin, the jury will be presented with the information that Steorn has about the technology.

The scientists will then decide how to proceed with testing.  Inasmuch as adequate testing might take several months, the jury is likely to select an independent testing firm to do the actual testing, which they will oversee.  This is likely to take several months.  Then, when the testing is complete, the jury will reconvene to analyze the results and render their decision.

"We're not going to rush the process," said McCarthy.  "Having solid academic validation of the technology is too valuable."  The results will be published regardless of the outcome, he added.

When asked if he or his company has been impacted by the threat or fear of possible suppression of the technology, as has allegedly been the case in many other similar revolutionary energy technology situations, McCarthy responded: "Not in the slightest."  "We don't live in the conspiracy-theory world."  He said his company has worked extensively as a vendor for law enforcement, and has confronted some "pretty scary people," and has good security in place.  "Furthermore, it's not a person, but a company that has produced this technology."

# # #




Seek Honest Skeptics, Avoid Review Sabotage

On Aug. 21, 2006, Mary-Sue Haliburton wrote:

I don’t think it goes without saying that it will be essential to make sure that these are honest cynics. Dishonest cynics and professional skeptics or groups thereof could very well fudge the experimental design or manipulate the readings to ensure failure of the device, or so that they can publicly proclaim failure of the device even if it did work.

I suggest that in addition to not being believers in new energy, these skeptics must not be employees or shareholders in any competing traditional-energy technologies or any business related to these technologies (advertising, sub-contractors, industry publishing, etc.), and should not have relatives who have such ties either. Also, if they are associated with a university, they must disclose the sources of their research funding. This information must be part of the public reporting of the study.

Dishonest or biased testing has been alleged and often directly observed to occur many times, especially when hardcore skeptics are involved. I have seen examples of testing by such skeptics in other fields including health and agriculture, that were explicitly designed to discredit rather than to analyze honestly the alternative approach or phenomenon.

Therefore, I recommend that when Steorn chooses its jury of twelve, you should also select a larger scientific review panel to look over the shoulders of the skeptics. This group should include a range of opinion, rather than only hard skeptics, to ensure that every argument is fully heard and fairly reported. This second-level review group will be responsible for confirming that the jury-scientists’ plan is balanced enough to allow for success of the technology should it be possible, and that procedures, equipment and data recording are honestly done while the testing is in progress.

Otherwise, you run an extreme risk that this skeptic test will be trumpeted around the world as "disproving" your technology, and further that it may be used to smear the reputation of your company as well as of its staff engineers. If you are primarily engaged in work to deter fraud, you should expand that imperative to deter scientific fraud too. Expect it. It's all too likely to happen. Your ad has "waved a red flag" in front of a whole herd of bulls. (Expect a lot of bull to result if you don't also have skilled cowboys to steer the herd into the corral... if that's not stretching the metaphor too far!)

Steorn Forum

See also

Page composed by Sterling D. Allan Aug. 21, 2006
Last updated December 24, 2014







"It is harder to crack a prejudice than an atom." // "I'd rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right." -- Albert Einstein

ADVISORY: With any technology, you take a high risk to invest significant time or money unless (1) independent testing has thoroughly corroborated the technology, (2) the group involved has intellectual rights to the technology, and (3) the group has the ability to make a success of the endeavor.
All truth passes through three stages:
   First, it is ridiculed;
   Second, it is violently opposed; and
   Third, it is accepted as self-evident.

-- Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

    "When you're one step ahead
of the crowd you're a genius.
When you're two steps ahead,
you're a crackpot."

-- Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, (Feb. 1998)


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