A world with an infinite supply of pure energy.
Never having to recharge your phone.
Never having to refuel your car."
Those are the words of an advertisement from a Dublin, Ireland, company that claims to have developed a way to produce free, clean and constant energy and at the same time re-write the book on modern physics.
The ad, which appeared in last week's issue of The Economist, challenges the scientific community to debunk the company's findings. The company is seeking 12 of "the most qualified and the most cynical" scientists to test its technology and report their findings.
Steorn is a company that specializes in developing technology to prevent counterfeiting and fraud in the plastic card and optical disc industries. But at least one of the world's most prominent scientists says that with its claims of finding the Holy Grail of energy, the company may be perpetrating a fraud of its own.
Though the company's Web site is light on details, Steorn CEO Sean McCarthy revealed that the device is essentially an "all-magnet motor with no electromagnetic component involved" in an interview with Pure Energy Systems News earlier this week .
Without being connected to a power supply and without using existing energy surrounding the device -- like heat -- the motor creates energy from nothing, Steorn claims.
"It's a fraud," said Dr. Michio Kaku, a leading theoretical physicist, author and professor whose accolades, awards and acknowledgments are too numerous to list here. "The irony here is that this is a company that makes anti-fraud technology. It's [their claim is] not possible … you can't sue me for quoting the rules of physics."
One of the fundamental laws of physics and the first law of thermodynamics is the "Principle of the Conservation of Energy," which states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only change form.
"This company here does not use fancy superconductors or lasers, it's just a simple magnet machine," Kaku giggled. "And so there's usually a slight of hand. Usually, you know, in the back some place energy's coming in but you can't see it and it's energizing their machine."
Kaku said that because these are technology experts and not physicists and that magnetic fields are invisible, Steorn may not have any idea that its machine is a fraud.
But he said the company's challenge to the scientific community is not necessarily the way to prove him wrong.
"Most reputable scientists don't want to be part of something like this because they realize it's a hoax," he explained. "But what happens is, shady scientists, you know, scientists who want to get their names in the paper or get a piece of the action, they sign up for the challenge and there's a lot of hoopla, television cameras come and say, 'Look, here is the scientist.' The scientist says, 'Oh my gosh, this guy's going to revolutionize the energy situation -- change the world.' Then they get headlines that way."
McCarthy said that the doubts of Kaku and others in the scientific community are precisely why they had to get their challenge into the public domain.