Posted by: Jack | June 2, 2007

More Irresponsible/Ignorant “News” Reporting

In the last few days there has been a swarm of video clips from various news shows getting passed around the Internet about a man who believes he may have discovered a technology which could revolutionize the world’s energy issues. Now it’s nothing new to hear about some random person making extreme claims regarding anything at all. However, you would expect that when a TV station is going to report on a potentially new technology, they would at very least want to consult with one other source to check for validity of claims. If any of these stations had asked a local high school science teacher or anyone with an interest in natural sciences they would quickly have decided that there was no news worthy material here.

Here is just one of the many short clips going around:

Problems I see here:

  • Everything will burn when heated to a high enough temperature. Even elements that are considered inert, such as helium, will burn in the hottest stars. Salt water, being made up of hydrogen, oxygen, sodium and chlorine is no exception.
  • When hydrogen burns, it produces a blue flame, not a bright yellow-orange flame like the one in the video. Most likely what is seen is the sodium from the salt burning. The high-frequency radio waves are probably breaking down the salt which provides the flame with a constant source of sodium…for two minutes.
  • Most significantly: No one ever mentions the electricity being consumed by the radio wave transmitter. A small flame like the one produced can be harnessed to generate a very small amount of electricity while in all likelihood, the transmitter is consuming loads and loads of electricity. In another video, the inventor sticks a florescent light bulb in front of the transmitter and it lights up. Like the burning water, the light bulb is emitting energy but not more than is being put into it.

If a technological solution to the “energy crisis” were this simple, it would have been discovered a long time ago.

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