Check out this article in a British newspaper about what some people are calling the next big science breakthrough -- a 12" tube that violates the First Law of Thermodynamics! Excerpts:
Even the makers of the device are at a loss to explain exactly how it works - but sceptical independent scientists carried out their own tests and discovered that the 12in x 2in tube really does produce far more heat energy than the electrical energy put in.Normally, you'd figure that any reputable government would laugh and point if asked to back such a scheme, but not the British government. The onetime world leader in pure science is now being taken in by perpetual motion machine "inventors", providing government "backing" to the company. (If the thing really heated water without taking the energy from the irreversible breakdown of the "secret liquid catalyst" -- which takes more energy to make than it produces by breaking down -- one could convert the hotter water to electricity which could run the machine; hence, perpetual motion.)
The device seems to break the fundamental physical law that energy cannot be created from nothing - but researchers believe it taps into a previously unrecognised source of energy, stored at a sub-atomic level within the hydrogen atoms in water.
The system - developed by scientists at a firm called Ecowatts in a nondescript laboratory on an industrial estate at Lancing, West Sussex - involves passing an electrical current through a mixture of water, potassium carbonate (otherwise known as potash) and a secret liquid catalyst, based on chrome.
This creates a reaction that releases an incredible amount of energy compared to that put in. If the reaction takes place in a unit surrounded by water, the liquid heats up, which could form the basis for a household heating system.
I like that they are theorizing that the new force involved comes from the "sub-atomic level within the hydrogen atoms". Maybe it's those darned-elusive "fractional quantum states" I blogged about earlier!
I just wish there was some ethical way to make money from recognizing that there really is no such thing as a perpetual motion machine.