Someone at work sent around this link. He asked if it was â€œfor real?â€
Man, I was so tempted when I saw the Fox News link to engage in ad hominem. But letâ€™s look at it.
Trust the laws of Physics
First start with the laws of physics. The Third Law of Thermodynamics says that there is no energy for free so heâ€™s probably a whole lot of energy into that water. Thatâ€™s the hum of a generator I hear in the background?
The guy isnâ€™t claiming itâ€™s a perpetual motion machine, but heâ€™s implying it. A lot of people donâ€™t know this but a lot of multinational corporations fund perpetual motion machine research on the the off chance, â€œWhat if theyâ€™re correct?â€ This program reminds me a lot of those machines (usually involving incredibly big magnets some place in the south of the United Statesâ€¦why always that part of the country?). A lot of patents are awarded every year that are all basically perpetual motion machines.
Assuming the water is actually doing something here, if I had to guess, it looks like standard electrolysis. Thatâ€™s what happens when you run electricity through water. But H2 and O2 are flammable.
Remembering my first year chemistry, there is no such thing chemically as â€œHHOâ€ as claimed in the program. So given the â€œwater torch,â€ Iâ€™m betting my money itâ€™s hydrogen peroxide. Any metal is going to act like a catalyst with peroxide and burn so Iâ€™d put my money that the reaction actually 2 H2O + 1 O2 + energy -> 2 H2O2. The test would be to find out if he has an oxygen tank in his contraption.
Anyone want to take that bet?
(I also question its usefulness as a torch/welder. I mean other than satisfy our need to burning holes in things, is it practical? If so, why arenâ€™t people using it? Itâ€™s not like hydrogen peroxide is uncommon.)
When I tried to verify my guesses I ran across that the term for this is â€œBrownâ€™s Gasâ€ or â€œRhodeâ€™s Gasâ€ (now called â€œKlein gasâ€, like the Dennis Klein guy in the news clip). Like other scientific hoaxes it seems to come out every decade so they can get a new bunch of suckers to buy this crap.
Do a search for these terms.
My respect for Wikipedia dropped a lot with that one.
I hope Slashdot doesnâ€™t pick this up. Itâ€™s going to get ugly.