|MadSci Network: Physics|
A few claims like this come up every few years. The most sensational was the cold fusion claim of Pons and Fleischmann in 1989. The popular media erroneously reported that energy had been gained in the process. One of the most basic tenets of physics is: energy is conserved. Energy/work does not just spring out of nowhere in a magical way. The useful work out is always less than the work put into a system. In the case of the nickel coated balls: my educated supposition is that a chemical reaction or ionization (release of charge) must have taken place and that such a system would eventually decay like a battery. A battery takes advantage of a source of stored chemical energy that eventually breaks down. No energy is gained in the system of the battery and the connected devices but to a person who doesn't know what is going on inside the battery it may appear that something has been gained for no effort. Sincerely, Tom "Lead Free Battery" Cull
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