Understanding the Steorn effect
Or at least learning something while trying!
The following pages document an ongoing attempt to understand the technology brought to life by Steorn. At least, what they are claiming to have brought to life -- they haven't shown any technical proof yet! Some patience required.
The first step to trying to understand Steorn's technology is to review what Sean McCarthy, Steorn's CEO, has revealed in their public forums so far. The forums are a wild hard to navigate jungle, but thanks to the hard work of some dedicated forum members, there are a couple good starting points:
Unofficial guide and information for newbies
Kinetica Thread Energy Problem Summary with Sean Refs
And for the most recent technical discussion,
Anyone crack the Kinetica problem - anyone care?
And in response, the hard work of forum members photon and pinestone:
Photon's magnetic viscosity tests
Repetition test - Pinestone
The last three links inspired me to try my own experiments to measure the fundamental property on which Steorn's technology is apparently based on: Magnetic Viscosity.
Magnetic viscosity is the tendency of a ferromagnetic material's magnetization to lag behind the application of an external magnetic field. That is, an unmagnetized piece of iron that is suddenly brought into close proximity of a magnet will not be immediately attracted to the magnet. The iron's own magnetic domains take a little while to start to align with the applied magnetic field thus causing the iron itself to become a magnet. Finally the iron and magnet stick together in magnetic attraction as it was meant to be.
Steorn has provided this plot showing the change of a partially saturated neodymium magnet's force due to a rapidly increasing applied magnetic field. According to Mr. McCarthy, the force's slow rise time is due to the neo's magnetic viscosity. What is not explained is why there is no initial force step due to the magnet's intrinsic magnetization. Was this a totally unmagnetized neo?
How to make use of magnetic viscosity to do real work has not been made public by Steorn yet, but a good start is to figure out how to measure magnetic viscosity. I attempt to do this in the following pages: