An Irish company that claims to have overthrown a key law of physics with an energy-from-nothing device cancelled a demonstration on Thursday, citing "technical difficulties."

Steorn, a Dublin-basedtechnology development company, said its Orbo "free energy technology" had managed to thwart the principle of the conservation of energy, which states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed.

The company planned to demonstrate the technology using a self-rotating wheel at the Kinetica Museum gallery in London on Thursday, as well as streaming video of the demonstration through its website.

Instead, a note onthe website said"intense heat from the camera lighting" had caused problems with the demonstration and Kinetica would not be open Thursday. Steorn also said the demonstration could be viewed online, but the link led to the announcement about the problem. Following the link to fourcameras monitoring the wheel showed no movement by late Thursday.

The company said on itswebsite that Orbouses "magnetic field interaction" to produce "free, clean and constant energy." It said "free" means it doesn't use an external energy source; "clean" means there are no emissions; and "constant" means that, barring mechanical failure, Orbo willrunindefinitely.

"The law of conservation of energy has been very reliable for 300 years, however it's missing one variable from the equation, and that's time,"CEO Sean McCarthy told

When he announced the demonstration, McCarthy said:"We expect the vast majority of our audience to view the exhibit online, but rather than just stream a demonstration of the technology from an undisclosed location, we purposely decided to have a tangible working device that people could come and physically see for themselves."

Scientists checking

Steorn ran a full-page ad in the Economist magazine in August 2006, inviting scientists to study Orbo.

The ad drew applications from several hundred or several thousand scientists (different news releases cite different numbers) and 22 were appointed to test the company's claims.

"The process of validation that has resulted from this challenge is currently underway, with results expected by the end of 2007," the website said.

The scientistswill not be publicly named until the tests are finished, to protect their privacy and avoid interrupting their work, Steorn said.

The company claims that, once it's up and running, Orbo will be able to power just about anything that requires energy, from cars to cellphones.

"It's too good to be true, but it is true," McCarthy told