f you’ve been following the story of Thane Heins and have been looking for an update to his story, I had one appear this weekend in the Toronto Star. It was a year ago when I first wrote about Ottawa-born Heins, who says he has developed an electrical generator that redirects the energy in “Back EMF” that usually slows down an electrical motor-generator as it accepts load. In other words, Heins claims to have eliminated the magnetic friction and replaced it with magnetic acceleration. He calls this effect “regenerative acceleration,” but those who are skeptical of his claims say that acceleration does not equate to power/torque/work and that Heins has failed to demonstrate there is such a link.
Is it just a more — potentially much more –efficient motor? Or is it, well, more than that? Heins says it’s not perpetual motion or an overunity machine, yet, but he believes he can get it there as he continues to refine his prototype. I won’t go into much more detail, you can read the article if you want an update. I decided to do an update after receiving an e-mail from Lee Smolin, a highly respected theoretical physicist at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo. Smolin said the public deserved an update to show that Heins is misguided. I’ll let the reader make that judgement. All I can say is that Heins continues to press on, and bit by bit is making what he feels is progress. The cast of characters he’s interacted with over the past year range from rockstar Neil Young to UFO researcher Steven Greer, who claims to be an ET contactee.
I like this story, mostly because Heins is doggedly determined and acutely aware of how controversial his claims are, but at the same time he isn’t prepared to censor himself. He tells it like he sees it, and invites others to come and kick the tires. I didn’t mention this in the story, but he’s decided to take a kind of open-source approach to licensing his technology. The idea, the way I understand it, is that others can license it and build real-world applications on top and that all members of the licensing network get to share in the advancements and the revenues that are generated — assuming it gets to that stage.
Obviously, as attempts are made to put this technology into a real application, we’ll know once and for all whether it works or falls flat. That’s perhaps my biggest criticism: Heins has spent the past year refining a prototype that really doesn’t answer the questions that people have. Regardless of how simple it is, all people want is to see the technology used in some way where real work — beyond acceleration — is clearly observable and irrefutable.
That said, I’m curious. Besides, I like an underdog and am a sucker for a good story, no matter how it ends. Some will say that by giving him publicity I’m encouraging him, giving him credibility, and helping perpetuate some sort of lie or con job. Having been a reporter and columnist at one of the largest newspapers in North America, I can tell you this: I, like many of my colleagues, have probably done more to unknowingly spread lies and con jobs by writing about so-called credible people and companies. At least with Heins, he wears his heart and motivations on his sleeve.