Take the 2-minute tour ×
Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Few years ago I read some papers about Free Energy, written by Bruce de Palma, a physicist who is said to be the inventor of the N-Machine, which is an device that works with free energy latent in the space around us. There are several informal references to him and his work. However, I tried to find papers of him several times in Scielo, Science Direct, IEEE, Physical Letters, Nature and several other scientific databases and found no references to Dr. Bruce de Palma. Personally I find quite strange that a research of such importance do not have a formal paper in an journal of big impact.

Does his work make sense?

share|improve this question
    
The claims are absurd--- you can't extract "zero point energy", because it just isn't there--- energy is extracted by moving something from a higher energy state to a lower energy state, and the vacuum is the lowest possible energy. Nevertheless, there are many fraudulent claims to the contrary, and this is one of them. I don't know why this was closed--- the answer is quick and easy--- he's a fraud. –  Ron Maimon Oct 24 '11 at 6:22
add comment

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

The claims are absurd--- you can't extract "zero point energy", because it just isn't there--- energy is extracted by moving something from a higher energy state to a lower energy state, and the vacuum is the lowest possible energy. Nevertheless, there are many fraudulent claims to the contrary, and this is one of them.

In response to comment

It is easy to dismiss claims that there are new fields affecting material substances--- there aren't any such fields. The author here does not provide evidence for these fields beyond speculating, and if these fields could produce macroscopic forces in matter, they will generically generate friction in materials, so that you would notice missing energy which is radiated into these modes. This is too obvious to miss.

Further, even if there were new fields, in their vacuum configuration, they would be useless for extracting energy. You would need to find an excited configuration and drain out the energy. This stuff is not worth the bother of reading it.

share|improve this answer
    
I agree you cannot extract energy from nowhere. However (and this what made me think twice, instead of the claims looks untrue), if your sensors cannot measure energy from all spectra, it does not mean that it's not there. So, it could possibly exist some matter configuration in which some energy signatures could be measured (and so extracted): in this sense, you can say you did not have that energy before observing it, but have it after if, so now it exists and could be extracted. That's just the case of dark matter: you cannot detect it, but you know it's there from indirect measurements. –  Rego Oct 28 '11 at 19:49
    
There are no new fields which could possibly be producing energy which cannot be detected much more easily by making matter radiate energy into them, or generate forces through them. –  Ron Maimon Oct 29 '11 at 6:02
    
So, it could possibly exist some matter configuration in which some energy signatures could be measured. Unless there is some unexplained measurement that can only be explained by adding some other matter configuration, there is no reason for us to assume this. Who knows, maybe we are all, in effect on a back of a tortuous traveling through space, without any evidence, there is no reason to assume so. Button line, you think this is the case? Give us some evidence. This year Noble price in chemistry is exactly about that. –  Yotam Oct 29 '11 at 6:28
    
Without supporting the claim for the N business I would disagree that there might not somehow appear a gizmo that seems to be taking energy out of the vacuum. Please bear with me: The ocean with its continuous waves of random directions can be a source of energy if a clever engineer designs valves that move in one direction and allow to extract the kinetic energy calming locally the waves. It is conceivable that we are not in a real vacuum, but like the ocean waves, a variable one due to gravity waves or even some higher dimensional waves if the theory of everything might –  anna v Dec 19 '11 at 13:39
    
have some larger dimensions there. It might be possible by serendipity that someone designs such a valve and energy seems to appear out of the vacuum. The open minded criterion should be the "proof in the pudding". Is there a prototype that works and gives a multiple of input energy? Since this N machine has been around for more than a decade, I would agree that it is a delusion, if it is not a scam. –  anna v Dec 19 '11 at 13:42
show 1 more comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.