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Magnetism & the search for unlimited energy

By On

On March 26, 2002, the US Patent Office issued Patent No. 6,362,718 B1, potentially altering the entire paradigm in our quest for the holy grail of unlimited clean energy. British journalist Nick Cook, author of The Hunt for Zero Point, remarked, “…maybe, just maybe, March 26, 2002 will be the date I put in my diary as the day the world changed – forever.”

The holders of this patent for the Motionless Electromagnetic Generator, or MEG, believe that “Under the right circumstances, a permanent magnet can be induced to fire a force hundreds of times its base magnetic strength,” a phenomenon “which can lead to a permanent self-powering magnetic motor.”

It has been proven that the vacuum all around us contains massive amounts of energy. In 1957, T.D. Lee and C.S. Wu were awarded the Nobel prize in physics for their work on “broken symmetry” and substantiating the process of extracting energy from the vacuum (EFTV). While the issues are incredibly complex - involving laws of thermodynamics, Quaternion algebra, and scalar potentials - the underlying question is this:

When a permanent magnet performs work, does it exhaust its own limited energy supply or does it extract energy from the seemingly infinite vacuum?”

In other words, consider a permanent magnet that has the power to lift 10 pounds, but not an once more. If this magnet is currently holding a 10 lb. piece of steel 100 feet above the ground, will it be able to do so forever? Is this considered work?

If in fact a permanent magnet has its own limited energy supply, it is likely that Patent No. 6,362,718 B1 will simply waste away. On the other hand, if a magnet (or any dipole) is actually a tool for extracting energy from the vacuum, the renewable energy paradigm will have truly shifted.

Virtually all trained physicists and electrical engineers will claim that a permanent self-powering magnetic motor violates the second law of thermodynamics. The explanation by Tom Bearden, Ph.D. and his team of MEG inventors - that the field of electrodynamics is still developing - is akin to Galileo’s claim that the teaching that the sun revolves around the earth resulted from a limited understanding. Dr. Bearden has published a 600-page book, Energy from the Vacuum: Concepts & Principles

, and has produced a number of DVDs, which provide substantial detail to support his position.

Unfortunately, the MEG still requires engineering development, not to mention funding, so the jury is still out. Dr. Bearden has suggested that the federal government implement a Manhattan Project-style program to complete the development of the EFTV technology. Considering the potential benefits from this technology (including the creation of an entirely new industry), his recommendation seems worthy of consideration.

What are your thoughts about the potential of this technology? Should the federal government consider funding research and development?


About Larry Horowitz

Posting Citizen Journalist • Member since Jan 16, 2008

Comments by Readers

Tip Johnson

Jun 29, 2008

Can’t say as I’m qualified to pass judgement on MEG, but I can say with some certainty that we (the people) - that first most important but often overlooked branch of our constitutional government - ought to afford any alternatives to fossil fuels at least the same attention and funding we were somehow able to afford the atomic bomb.  Yep, a Manhattan Project on alternative energy is long past due.

An even more strident fellow critic of modern society framed this in terms of the global climate change that now seems inevitable.  He said, “It used to just be shortsighted to burn coal and oil.  Now it is literally murderous.  Millions of people are going to die as a result of the continued combustion of fossil fuels.” 

Seems extreme, but it is true.  And we are going to need the oil for medicine, textiles and plastics.  Reducing it to non-reusable elements and dumping it in the atmosphere is a strategy very short on long-term survival value.

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Larry Horowitz

Jun 29, 2008

Thanks for your comment Tip.  Given the fact that the funding of a Manhattan Project for EFTV would be about the same as funding a single day in the Iraq war, I agree it needs to be done.

I’m more interested in your thoughts on the magnet question.  Based on your intuition (or gut if you prefer), do you believe the 10-lb capacity permanent magnet will hold a 10-lb object indifinitely?  Or will it eventually give out and drop it? 

Here’s another question.  Consider a person who has the capacity to hold a 200-lb object.  If this person is currently holding a 10-lb object, will s/he be able to do so forever?  How long could s/he hold a 200-lb object?

Clearly, there is something about magnets that is different in terms of energy consumption.  I have communicated with Tom Bearden by email a dozen or so times.  He is convinced that magnets extract energy from the vacuum and will do so forever.  Just think about how that might change our world.

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David Onkels

Jun 29, 2008

I’m sorry, but the patent was granted in 2002, and nothing has happened with this world-shaking technology in six years. I hope that you will excuse my skepticism.

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Larry Horowitz

Jun 29, 2008

Hi David,

Thanks for joining the conversation; I had hoped that you would.

Certainly, you are entitled to your skepticism; however, I?m not sure your remark that ?nothing has happened? in the last six years is entirely accurate.  In fact, a gentleman named John Bedini has started a business in Idaho - which has since gone public ? that uses this EFTV technology to charge and restore large industrial batteries like those used in forklifts and golf carts.  (See http://energenx.com to learn more.) 

In addition, Tom Bearden and his colleagues have been working diligently to secure funding to complete the development engineering needed to bring the MEG to market.  It is clear that if this technology were not so ?world-shaking? the time-frame to bring to their invention market would be much shorter.  (Just consider the amount of skepticism that must be overcome when dealing with such issues.  Not to mention the fact few are willing to be first in line risk capital on brand new technology.)

I have read your comments on this blog before and know you are highly intelligent.  If you are interested, I?d be happy to loan you my copy of Dr. Bearden?s book.

Again, thanks for joining the conversation.  I look forward to hearing from you again.

Best,
Larry

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Garin Wallace, aka Wally

Jun 30, 2008

Forever is a long time.  I couldn’t hold the weight very long all, but my feeling is that the magnet will do a good approximation of forever,  however probably succumbing to the elements much sooner.  I won’t pretend to have the understanding that a physicist might, but fields are probably either not understood at all, or very little by your average guy.  The weight is “falling” towards the magnet because of the magnet field, the same way we fall towards the earth because of it’s gravitational field. 

Do I do work to get out of bed to go to work?  Or do I just lay there comfortably, allowing our earth’s gravitational field to have it’s way with me.  I’ll just lay there in that low energy state forever contemplating a magnet holding a weight 100 feet up in the air.  Where is that by the way, if I’m wrong on the forever thing; I’d hate to be standing under it.

I think the government has fulfilled it’s constitutional duties to promote the progress of science and useful arts by issuing the patent.  That said, I’m not opposed to the government spending a little of our money to fund research into various energy sources.  I’m sure there will be many commercially viable sources of electricity that will help move us away from fossil fuels, so I’d hesitate to support any one with a Manhattan style project.  If businesses aren’t rushing to invest in this man’s idea, then I’d be wary of risking large sums of taxpayer money. 

Rather, I’d like to see the government work to organize the infrastructure to collect and distribute the energy.  I’m going to want to know that I’ll find a compatible plugin for my electric car whether I drive to Seattle or Bellingham.

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Larry Horowitz

Jun 30, 2008

Thanks for your interesting insights Wally, especially your creative linking of the interplay between the magnetic and gravitational fields.  Your comment reminds me of another point illustrated by Dr. Bearden?s work.

As you indicated, ?fields? are not well understood by the average guy.  It turns out there may be certain critical aspects of the electromagnetic (EM) field that are not well understood by trained professionals as well.  When James Clerk Maxwell developed his model of the EM field in the late 1800?s, it contained 20 equations with 20 variables and allowed for open systems in disequilibrium with their environment.  Oliver Heaviside severely curtailed Maxwell?s theory, and Lorentz later symmetrically regauged the Maxwell-Heaviside equations, arbitrarily discarding all open/asymmetrical systems. 

In other words, what is being taught today is substantially limited compared with Maxwell?s original model.  Limiting an electromagnetic ?system? to a closed/symmetrical format is comparable to limiting the function of a sailboat to the air in a closed environment.  A sail that has no wind - or a sail that is in equilibrium with (parallel to) the wind - is not very effective.  Such a sail will not extract and convert much energy from the wind.  The larger the sail and the more it is in disequilibrium with (perpendicular to) the wind, the more energy it can extract and convert into sailing.

Bearden and his colleagues have developed a method of extracting significantly more energy from the EM field by using larger ?sails? and making them less parallel to the field.  An important aspect of the MEG is that it is a freestanding generator of electricity and does not need a distribution system to power your home.  Imagine having a refrigerator-sized generator in your garage that freely extracts energy from the vacuum to provide electricity directly to your home.  That is what the MEG is all about.  It is much more than simply plugging in your electric car.

Can you imagine a world without the need for power transmission lines and substations; a world with clean, unlimited energy to power our homes, businesses and automobiles?  Nicola Tesla envisioned such a world; but the world was unkind to him.  Now Tom Bearden and his colleagues have created a new vision.  Perhaps we will treat them better than Tesla.

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Tom Pratum

Jul 01, 2008

I can’t help but agree with David Onkels brief assessment - and I might add: where is the peer review? Surely we might find a Phys Rev Letter or some other article in a prestigious publication. Note that there are many peer reviewed articles involving vacuum fluctuations, and even an undergraduate physics lab that shows the Casimir effect that is one observable result, but apparently no articles involving the concept of extraction of energy from them.

This reminds me a bit of cold fusion, although in this case it appears the proponents are more involved in self-promotion. In the cold fusion case, peer review ultimately has shown it was not worthwhile. In the meantime, the Utah state legislature bypassed peer review and appropriated $millions to the co-discoverers, only to be left with a nasty case of egg on their faces…..

One other comment, the magnet holding the 10 lb weight is at equilibrium as long as it isn’t part of some other system that is not at equilibrium (e.g. a person holding it up). Energy is transferred into and out of a system when it passes between equilibrium states, so I think it is clear the magnet uses no energy to hold the weight (as long as it held up by something that is also in equilibrium like a rigid tower). However, the magnet will eventually drop the weight. This is because the ferromagnetic order in the permanent magnet will decay over time due to entropic effects (the little ferromagnetic domains eventually become disordered).

In summary - public funding should be reserved for projects that have passed through peer review. This is mostly what is done now. I would say this doesn’t cut it.

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Larry Horowitz

Jul 02, 2008

Tom,

Thanks for taking time to add to this conversation.  Your objections to funding the development engineering needed to bring the MEG to market appear to be based on:
1) The lack of peer review;
2) The fact that cold fusion didn?t pan out and this situation reminds you of that; and
3) Whether a magnet, or dipole, is in disequilibrium with its environment.

Thanks for the opportunity to address your concerns:

1) Regarding the lack of peer review, I wonder if you happened to read the actual patent for the MEG when you reviewed this material (see http://www.cheniere.org/references/MEG_Patent.pdf).  While there have been many patents issued for electromagnetic generators, the unique aspects of the MEG are:  a) the need for an external power source is eliminated; b) the magnetic flux path is changed without a need to overpower a magnetic field to change direction; and c) the generation of electricity is accomplished without moving parts.

I am not certain whether there are any peer reviewed ?articles? on the MEG; however, if you have ever applied for and received a patent from the US Patent Office, you understand the tremendous peer review process involved.  It is my understanding that the MEG is the only patent ever awarded by the US Patent Office for an overunity machine (i.e., a device whose Coefficient of Performance [COP] is greater than 1).

1) I am not familiar with the cold fusion situation.  Clearly, many inventions do not pan out; however, does it really make sense to dismiss the MEG on the basis that some legislators in Utah ended up with egg on their faces?

3) My understanding of Broken Symmetry and disequilibrium is limited; however, please take a look at Dr. Bearden?s explanation ?for the open-minded reader? of the broken symmetry of a dipole at: http://www.cheniere.org/references/brokensymmetry.htm

No doubt, Dr. Bearden is ahead of his time - as were many previous scientists inventors.  I understand you are not claiming he is wrong, just that he is not well-supported at this time.  There is a significant difference.

If you have any interest in reviewing Dr. Bearden?s book (Energy from the Vacuum: Concepts & Principles), it would be my pleasure to loan you my copy.

Best,
Larry

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Tom Pratum

Jul 03, 2008

Hi Larry-
I think you distilled my objections too far in some cases.

The lack of peer review is extremely significant in my opinion, and I know that patents are reviewed, but they aren’t peer reviewed in the sense that a journal article or a grant application would be. They are reviewed by the patent office - period. If the folks their don’t know enough about it, then it may skate through. I think there are lots and lots of nonsensical patents out there that have come into being in this way.

My comparison with cold fusion is merely one comparison that I am quite familiar with. There are others - other perpetual motion machines and the like - that have failed ultimately to pass scientific muster.

The argument I made about the permanent magnet is an argument that must be made on a macroscopic system such as that. Such systems follow the laws of thermodynamics, and I have merely cast those upon this system as anyone who believes in such things.

So, what if I, and apparently the rest of the scientific community are wrong? We might be, but that is best proven using the “standard” practice these days of having your results validated by a number of people who are experts in the field. If we don’t do that, where does it end? Do we start funding “creation science” for example? It is a slippery slope, I don’t think we want to get near it.

By the way, I did look at Bearden’s explanation of “broken symmetry” and I’ll have to admit it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, but I am not a physicist by training. However, I am sure many physicists have looked at it. And, I am sure many many engineers have also looked at Bearden’s proposals. What appears to have come from that is nada, which is a significant observation as David Onkels so briefly pointed out.

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Larry Horowitz

Jul 03, 2008

Tom,

Thanks again for continuing this debate.  I appreciate your insights. 

In reading through your most recent post, it again appears to me that your primary issue with EFTV technology in general - and the MEG in particular - is the lack of peer review and third party verification.  Certainly, such an objection is valid; but is more akin to disproving a negative the proving a positive.  In other words, those who have reviewed Bearden?s work have done nothing to disprove it; they merely are not willing to give it their seal of approval.  Again, a big difference.

In September 2007, Dr. Bearden sent an email to me explaining why, in his opinion, ?wealthy potential investors are bound by several problems with respect to ?new energy? or energy from the vacuum.?  Because his email is fairly lengthy, I will forward it directly to you (assuming the email address I have for you is current).  You?ll notice that point 6 of his email is where he suggests to me that what is really needed is a ?miniature Manhatten Project? to complete a model for asymmetric EM systems.

In the meantime, if you are really interested in the potential of EFTV, I offer again to loan you my copy of Dr. Bearden?s book.  It does a much better job of explaining ?broken symmetry? than his brief article.  Keep in mind, broken symmetry is not Dr. Bearden?s creation ? it is the basis for the Nobel Prize awarded to physicists Lee and Wu in 1957.

So you?ll know, I have absolutely no financial interest in whether or not the MEG makes it to market.  (In fact, Dr. Bearden has not allowed individuals to invest in his company.)  On the other hand, I feel as though the sustainability of our entire planet is at stake.  That is my dog in this race.

I hope to hear from you about taking me up on my offer.  If nothing else, perhaps we could meet for coffee to share our ideas on these issues in general, including your concerns about peak oil.

Best,
Larry

PS ? As I explained to David Onkels, it is not accurate to claim that ?nada? has come from this technology.  John Bedini?s company already has battery charger products on the market using this technology, and Dr. Bearden?s group is close to raising the funds needed to move forward.  Groundbreaking technologies take years if not decades to come to fruition.  Deciding that the technology is invalid simply because 6 years have elapsed cannot be justified.  Bearden?s email will provide more detail.

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Larry Horowitz

Jul 23, 2008

I know this post has gotten stale; however, I wanted to provide an update, especially for those who have commented and to address David Onkels comments that nothing has happened with the MEG.

On Tom Bearden’s online blog, he has a post on May 5, 2008 that states,

“We already have the contracts in place for the MEG, etc.  Whenever the UN funds are released to our contractor for his projects, we will have the funding and will get on with the MEG.”

http://www.cheniere.org/correspondence/050508.htm

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