The Hoax of Free Energy Machines

Many college students approach me off and on with different ideas and theories of creating devices which more or less are centered around the concept of free energy. We certainly need to encourage and guide these intelligent boys, but the big question is “Is it possible to create such free energy devices?
The Hoax of Free Energy Machines
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There is no such thing as free energy. Anyone who advocates it does not know what he is talking about. Dr. Alireza (Ali) Haghighat((University of Florida)

The concept of free energy and perpetual motion machines has been a fascinating subject for researchers, inventors and the general public, for hundreds of years. There are large number of energy scammers, huckster and other inventors around the world who envision a utopian future for mankind with limitless free energy at zero cost. Their perpetual motion machines once set in motion can run forever without any external sources of energy. They believe that these devices promise virtually a free and limitless source of energy. During the last few years, many reports came in the local media about fuel-less electrical generator, perpetual mechanical machines and cars which can run on water. The software's which can recharge the mobile phone batteries and a whatsApp program which runs without internet facility. Besides, many college students approach me off and on with different ideas and theories of creating devices which more or less are centered around the concept of free energy. We certainly need to encourage and guide these intelligent boys, but the big question is "Is it possible to create such free energy devices?

In 2012 Agha Waqar, a polytechnic engineer in Pakistan claimed to have invented a 'water kit' which enabled a car to run on water alone. He promised a new Pakistan with limitless free energy, no need for petrol or gas. For a country tired of daily load-shedding, it was promise for a new world. In a flash the engineer became a hero. The media in Pakistan became highly excited and all Pakistani TV channels started programs on the hot topic. Some were wondering how to protect the man's life from oil companies and some were overjoyed about saving on oil imports. Many scientists gave their approval to the discovery. Even the nuclear scientist Dr AQ Khan investigated the matter and claimed that there is no fraud involved. The head of the Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research went with a statement that 'we had already done some work on this project'. President Zardari and other Ministers then, spoke high of the inventor. The cabinet also met many times to discuss the utopian future. Finally, Dr Attaur Rahman a reputed scientist of the country came on TV, explained the scientific principles and invalidated the claims. The machine was later thoroughly checked and found that there was nothing magical, as this technology has been around the world for a very long time. The matter died a natural death but it exposed the ignorance and left them with a reprimand that there are no free lunches.

The "free energy" concept in science is a total myth. The conservation of energy is an important law in physics which says that energy is a conserved quantity and that it can be transformed from one form to another, but it can't be created or destroyed. Machines which produces work without the input energy, violates this law. Then, the amount of energy which we put into a system is always greater than the amount of energy that system puts out. The conversion of all energy into useful work is not possible. This is second law of thermodynamics. A machine is just like our stomach, the energy transfers involve the loss of some amount of energy in an unusable form such as heat, resulting in spreading out of energy which we call disorder or Entropy. The entropy is an inherent property of a system and Impose unavoidable constraints. For example, a glass of water doesn't spontaneously separate into ice cubes and warm water even though the energy conservation law would allow it. If this happens spontaneously, we can use the temperature difference to drive an engine to do work. But the universe does not work that way.  These laws have profound implications and no serious scientist would ever dream to challenge them.

There is nothing free in this Universe and if something seems free, it's just that you are being charged through a back-door. It is not possible to establish a chain power generation house, for example, If we run a machine, generate electricity from a generator to charge batteries which can further be used to run another machine, generate electricity to charge another set of batteries and so on. In such cases at every step, lot of the energy is being wasted. For example, when engine gets hot or produces sound, lot of energy is wasted. The friction in the bearings, fan used to cool the engine, electrical power line etc consume a lot of energy. This is inherent and thwarting our efforts to achieve perfect (100%) energy efficiency in machines. If somebody discovers a machine which produces motion, heat, light, electricity etc and claims to provide this energy continuously, the engine must be extracting energy from some hidden source like gravity or atmosphere. If someone claims to have developed software which automatically recharges a mobile phone battery or has a whatsApp program which works without internet, then please check it. A little investigation will reveal the hidden energy source.

There are serious free energy researchers who want to see the laws of Physics break. They make claims of their inventions and attract interest of general public. They do not publish scientific research papers and when scientists ask them to explain their theories or the devices they disappear into oblivion. Many other Inventors have little interest in merely producing perpetual motion. They want to build machines with energy efficiency more than (100%) and capable of creating energy out of nothing. All these publicity seekers are certainly ignoring the facts that thousands of scientists around the world could not find such technology during the last few hundred years. Another section of people argue that before scientists could track down the true source of the unexplained energy, the device can be called a free energy machine. They say that when Henri Becquerel discovered that uranium ore would fog a film, he had discovered a free energy device but when Physicists eventually explained this in terms of the radioactivity of unstable elements, it was stopped being called a free energy. They say that in case of a solar panel in sunlight we get electrical power out of the panel but they did not put the sunlight into the panel – the sunlight arrives on its own. Just because we give something a different name, doesn't change what they are.

Had anybody built a free energy machine, mankind would have been riding around in free electric cars powered by infinite supplies of free electricity. Nevertheless, free energy concept has always been a fascinating curiosity which is creating a lot of fun. Its biggest advantage is that it drives us towards the ultimately reality. It is quite hearting to see our gifted youth come up with innovative ideas and energy devices. They should be provided guidance about scientific principles, energy efficiency, free energy concepts and perpetual motion machines. There is need that these young talented people get recognition and encouragement for their talent. They must be provided financial support or scholarship and admitted in reputed technical institutions to continue their studies. Though free energy machine is a hoax, but there is a possibility that in its quest we may be able to find energy efficient technology on a larger scale which may effectively change our future. The Universe is a sea of energy waiting for us to set sail upon it.

Dr Muhammad Amin Malik is Assoiate Professor, & Head Dept of Physics, Amar Singh College, Srinagar, J&K

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