Violating the laws of physics on national television

Published: August 3, 2012
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The writer is a theoretical physicist with a doctorate from MIT. He is an associate professor of physics and mathematics at LUMS

The writer is a theoretical physicist with a doctorate from MIT. He is an associate professor of physics and mathematics at LUMS

Just a few weeks ago, the discovery of a new particle was celebrated by physicists the world over. The properties of this new particle are being studied and many expect it to be the Higgs boson predicted by the Salam-Weinberg Electroweak theory. If confirmed as the Higgs Boson, it provides for the completion of the standard model of particle physics. The standard model is the culmination of 100 years of particle physics, which began with the discovery of the electron in 1897. This theory predicts with extreme precision — in some cases one part in 100 billion — the properties and interactions of all the fundamental particles and is one of the two foundation stones of modern theoretical physics, the other being Einstein’s general theory of relativity. Once again, our understanding of the basic laws of physics was confirmed by the discovery at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), an experiment 10 years in the making.

The basic principles on which entire physics rests, include the laws of thermodynamics and the law of conservation of energy. The discovery of new particles in accelerators, such as the LHC, rests on the premise that the conservation laws of energy and momentum hold and this has been confirmed to extreme precision.

Thus, it would be utterly impossible to see a violation of this law in everyday events or even at an atomic scale. However, this is exactly what is being claimed by an engineer from Khairpur, Agha Waqar Ahmad. For the last few weeks, he has appeared in many TV programmes on national channels claiming to have developed a device, which allows a car to run on water. Apparently the Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) has confirmed his claims as indicated by the statements of the PCSIR Chairman, Dr Shaukat Pervaiz, in the programme “Capital Talk” (July 31).

The basic idea behind the Khairpur device is not new and has been shown not to work. Here is what Agha Waqar is proposing: electrical energy, from the battery, electrolyses water into its constituent hydrogen and oxygen; the hydrogen is then burned in the engine thus recombining with oxygen to produce water, while producing heat and mechanical energy to run the car. Part of this mechanical energy is used to run the alternator to charge the battery. To put it simply, the battery runs the car and charges itself. This is absurd and impossible!

The absurdity of the Khairpur device can be understood by drawing an analogy with another similar mechanism. Consider the following argument. Electricity can be used to run a car and electricity can be produced by using a wind turbine. Given these two facts does it make sense to install a wind turbine on the roof of an electric car? The flow of air due to car cruising at some speed rotates the turbine and turbine provides electricity, which allows the car to keep on cruising. Or how about an electric pump, which pumps water into a reservoir at a certain height so that when water flows down from the reservoir, it rotates a turbine, which generates electricity for the pump? What is being proposed by Agha Waqar is as absurd as the contraptions mentioned in the above thought experiments. Such hypothetical devices are known as perpetual motion machines and their existence violates basic laws of physics.

Scientific frauds are not rare and several have been able to carry on for a long time because of their sophisticated nature, but the way an ordinary engineer has been able to do it on national TV for several weeks, with scientific institutions such as the PCSIR backing him, is mindboggling. If nothing else, it demonstrates the incompetence of people running these institutions. The PCSIR chairman appeared in two different programmes (“Kyun” and “Capital Talk”) and it was clear from his statements on both programmes that he had no clue what the underlying issue with the Khairpur device is, his only “research” on the topic being the a printout about hydrogen fuel cells from the website http://www.howstuffworks.com. I hope when in coming days this claim is found to be fraudulent, the PCSIR chairman will have the decency to resign from his post. It was sad to see Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan and Dr Samar Mubarakmand display their lack of understanding of basic physics and history of scientific development on national TV channels. However, Dr Attaur Rehman’s comments and his attempt to teach Agha Waqar Ahmad some basic physics were admirable.

Groundbreaking claims require a high level of proof. It is not clear why the producers of “Capital Talk” did not ask a team of scientists, well-versed in the area, to test the claims before presenting it to the world. Contrary to the claims of minister for religious affais, Khursheed Shah (“Capital Talk”, July 30), no LUMS faculty member has seen or approved the Khairpur device as far as I know. It is not surprising that ‘water as fuel’ claims appear every few weeks on national TV since such fraudulent claims are not properly vetted and the potential payoff is huge.

Experiments sometime do contradict prevailing theoretical models. One famous example of this is the experiment determining the energy emitted, at a certain wavelength, by a black body. A black body is an object that absorbs all light that falls on it and hence appears black; it is also a perfect emitter. The results of this experiment were not in agreement with theoretical understanding of the black body radiation at that time. The reconciliation of observation and theory marked the beginning of quantum theory. However, what needs to be understood is that the new theory encompasses the old one and extends it. It is not usually the case that the old theory turns out to be completely wrong. For example, Newton’s theory of universal gravitation works very well if we would like to calculate the trajectory of, say, a cricket ball. But we know that Newton’s theory is not correct, the correct theory being Einstein’s general theory of relativity. We can still use Newton’s theory since the deviations from it are extremely tiny and become significant only when the gravity is strong such as near a black hole or when we want extreme precision such as for global positioning system.

The utter lack of scepticism regarding such claims is sad not only because it shows poor understanding of basic science by people apparently running ‘scientific’ institutions and those, who have been eulogised by folklore in this country for ‘their achievements’, but also shows how desperate we are to believe that Pakistanis can also do something extraordinary. The desperation to believe in ourselves as a nation possibly stems from an utter failure in sciences, while scientific and technological progress by others keeps on gathering pace and the gulf grows ever wider, likely to be unbridgeable by now.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (111)

  • Arijit Sharma
    Aug 3, 2012 - 10:02PM

    ” …. The absurdity of the Khairpur device can be understood by drawing an analogy with another similar mechanism. … “

    I like the sound of that – “Khairpur Device” – much like “Baghdad Battery

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  • Arijit Sharma
    Aug 3, 2012 - 10:08PM

    ” … It was sad to see Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan and Dr Samar Mubarakmand display their lack of understanding of basic physics and history of scientific development on national TV channels. … “

    It might well be that Pakistan’s Atomic Weapons program is the most elaborate hoax in the history of mankind. ( … I mean it as a compliment … )

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  • faraz
    Aug 3, 2012 - 10:12PM

    Just like the CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, Afgha Waqar’s water kit collides water molecules at a much lower speed (that’s secret). When water molecules collide, they create ripples in the Higgs Field, called Higgs Boson. The Higgs boson instantly disintegrates into photons. These photons increase the kinetic energy of water molecules. This kinetic energy is then converted into mechanical energy by the engine.

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  • entropy
    Aug 3, 2012 - 10:17PM

    Part of this mechanical energy is used
    to run the alternator to charge the
    battery. To put it simply, the battery
    runs the car and charges itself. This
    is absurd and impossible! […]

    Such hypothetical devices are known as
    perpetual motion machines and their
    existence violates basic laws of
    physics.

    In other words this car is a perpetual motion machine of the first kind, not the second kind as incorrectly claimed by Pervaiz Hoodbhoy. This article is much more informative than the one by Hoodbhoy but why do Pakistani intellecuals start self–flaggeltating at the slightest provocation? AQ Khan and Samar Mubarakand are frauds, why not use this opportunity to expose them? Why put down the Pakistani nation as a whole?

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  • Mirza
    Aug 3, 2012 - 10:17PM

    I agree with the author like a student of science would. The laws of science have not been challenged and cannot be challenged. However, in a country where the constitution has no value and even the worst violations (multiple acts of high treason, murders and mutilation of bodies, etc.) of the laws are acceptable norms, what would a couple of laws of Physics do? The law of conservation of energy and the laws of thermodynamics are good for the whole world but we can find exceptions and be proud of that.
    The moment I read about this “invention” I could not believe it and the basic chemistry/physics told me it is not possible. Not being lazy, I searched the Web and in a couple of minutes could see the truth. Our scientists cannot even bother to check the Web, if not the books which take much longer.

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  • Ahmed Rashid
    Aug 3, 2012 - 10:18PM

    While I don’t really believe that the engineer in question has come up with a scientifiaclly viable device, I am quite sure he is not suggesting a perpetual motion device.

    The author in this article has refuted the idea that a perpetual motion device is possible which, ofcourse, is in line with the law of conservation of energy. However, the author has not really spoken about what Agha Waqar is suggesting about his device and how it is not scientifically viable.

    This would have been a much more credible piece if the capable author had shown that he had atleast tried to research what device / theories he was speaking against. His expertise on the matter would be highly welcome.

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  • A Metric Pass with Real Degree
    Aug 3, 2012 - 10:23PM

    As a student of engineering I know all the things involved but at the end of the day I have only one question for you.
    Can you prove this thing wrong, Scientifically?
    If you havent seen it & dont know whats it all about, then stop wasting your time & the time of everyone else writing such articles based on mere speculation.
    FYI I haven
    t seen it yet so, like a sensible student of engineering I am refraining from passing any judgements.
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  • Aug 3, 2012 - 10:31PM

    Very well written article..with due apology to A.Q.Khan fans..I have never liked him because of his ‘self-praising’ attitude..he keeps telling the nation that he made atomic bomb all by himself and no one else deserves the credit..now with his backing of such a fraud i strongly doubt his abilities

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  • Sajid
    Aug 3, 2012 - 10:35PM

    Excellent stuff Doctor. Write more often.

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  • Ali
    Aug 3, 2012 - 10:37PM

    Excellent article. This is what I was looking for – an article detailed on scientific facts and not merely stating that the engineer’s kit violates first law of thermodynamics.
    Thank you very much sir. You are awesome.

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  • Bilal
    Aug 3, 2012 - 10:42PM

    The best part about this article is that Dr Amer Iqbal has never seen the device himself or never met Aga waqar. He has the theories with him. Does it makes any difference if he should have a drive before calling him a fraud.long live MIT.

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  • jagjit sidhoo
    Aug 3, 2012 - 10:49PM

    A car running on water life would be so easy , but life is never that easy it is tough there are no easy solutions and free lunches.

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  • K
    Aug 3, 2012 - 10:55PM

    Thank u sir for clearing LUMS name…Plus u r as good a writer as teacher!!

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  • Mirza
    Aug 3, 2012 - 11:16PM

    Sir, to see the device is a waste of time, as the idea is very old. The energy required breaking the bond between hydrogen and oxygen is a lot to start with. Once the two gases are obtained the whole process would lose some energy and the rest can go to the auto engine. Basically the person is changing the energy (electrical) used to split water into the energy to drive auto. Just like gasoline or electric autos work. The output of energy can never be greater than input in most common chemical reactions. Just like if you keep putting money in a bank you cannot take more out, even if there are no loses (friction, heat, wind, etc.) it would be the same amount. Please do a Web search to see the truth, but look at only the respectable sites.
    Regards,
    MirzaRecommend

  • Samar
    Aug 3, 2012 - 11:21PM

    @Ali

    i am really surprised how AQ khan and Samarmand supported this self styled inventor. any person with even a little knowledge of physics would know this is impossible. its a shame…

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  • Rauflala
    Aug 3, 2012 - 11:44PM

    To everyone who wants Dr. Amer Iqbal to see the contraption before “writing such articles”, I’ll say: Go back to your grade 12 textbook, open the chapter on “conservation of energy” and write its statement on the ground with your nose.

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  • Tamil Arasan
    Aug 3, 2012 - 11:53PM

    Water Kit can be a serious threat to the Bloom Box!!!

    Bloom Box needed a massive investment of US $ 400 million to bring the concept to reality by a Rocket Scientist from NASA, but hear a engineer from Khairpur has created a device called “Water Kit” with out any funding!!!, “Amazing Feet” and I believe Agha Waqar Ahmad will be awarded 100 Nobel price for this water kit concept.

    The inventor of the Bloom Box claim a Brick Size Bloom Box made of Ocean Sand!!! can power four houses in Asia!!!, If Ocean sand can then why not the drinking water can run the car by generating energy from “Water Kit” :-)

    Blow is the video link of Bloom Box magic…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=playerembedded&v=khKQTWl5Nc

    Guys do you still believe the Water Kit after reading Professor Amir??

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  • Arifq
    Aug 4, 2012 - 12:05AM

    I am no scientist but do have finance background with specialization in International finance. Assuming for a second this water based fuel car works, then this is a structural shift in how energy is utilized lowering costs for industries and transportation devices across the globe. This should revolutionize the way we operate and the person or country holding the secret formula will be measured in trillions of dollars and unimaginable power. Are we that gullible or just desperate?

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  • Aug 4, 2012 - 12:05AM

    Thanks Amer Iqbal for such a nice articles. I personally feel that this is our (Physicists) responsibility to come forward to tell the people when such non-sense things being projected on the national TV. The most painful thing to me was when Dr. A.Q. Khan and Dr. Samar Mubarakmand were supporting this complete non-sense. In fact they were showing their lack of basic physics knowledge and they are so-called national heroes and the ONLY scientists of the country (as is public perception).

    By the way one thing to be corrected by every one is that the Khairpur device inventor Aga Waqar is not even an engineer, he is a diploma holder and claiming himself as a mechanical engineer. This is told to me by one of his neighbor in Khairpur.

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  • Mujtaba
    Aug 4, 2012 - 12:26AM

    @ the writer : dear writer the battery does not run the car. The function of the battery is only to start the car and support the lights and other small functions. Then its the fuel which runs the engine and NOT the battery, and the generator recharges the battery. And Why we can not challenge the law of thermodynamics ? Agha Waqar challenged Dr. Atta that if my car stops anywhere or if the battery dies you can shoot me. If the car runs and battery recharges itself it means a perpetual machine does exist and you guys are just not accepting it because he is from khaipur and cant explain what he has invented.

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  • jibran
    Aug 4, 2012 - 12:46AM

    Couldn’t be better described http://dawn.com/2012/08/03/bad-science/Recommend

  • Aug 4, 2012 - 12:57AM

    There should be blasphemy laws for violating the laws of thermodynamics, gravity and universal perpetual machine. Knowing the history of pakistan it shouldnt be much hard to implement them.

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  • Ismail
    Aug 4, 2012 - 1:02AM

    @Bilal:
    Your post demonstrates the utter lack of engineering. I have an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and I can tell you that I do NOT need to look at the absurd “water kit” to know that its a hoax. It is not possible to build such a thing under the laws of Physics. Period.!!

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  • Mujtaba
    Aug 4, 2012 - 1:11AM

    Would anyone answer my question ? if any experiment violates the 1st and 2nd law of thermodynamics then why it is considered to a fraud ? If something is violating the law and the experiment proves it than it means the law is incorrect or it need amendments.

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  • Aisha Azam
    Aug 4, 2012 - 1:23AM

    Glad to see that LUMS is the one University in Pakistan where the faculty is speaking up against this fraud. In fact, a whole number of faculty members (in addition to Dr. Hoodbhoy and Iqbal here in ET) have been writing about the fraud on their facebook and twitter messages. Every place has fraudsters, but I am given hope that institutions like LUMS is nurturing people who speak up against them!

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  • S.H. Zaidi
    Aug 4, 2012 - 1:25AM

    Why was this claim given the importance that it did not deserve?
    Surprisingly, a sitting Minister of the government that is remarkably deaf and dumb to all kinds of national problems, thought it fit to give publicity to this bogus claim, and apparently believed in it!
    If it is a hoax, which it appears to be, let it be said that such claims are not unknown, nor infrequent, even in the developed world today. It would have died its own death in a short time. If there were substance in his claim, the result would have come in due course of time. The media, and some politicians, have made a fool of themselves by according to it undue publicity!

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  • Faisal Jamal Khan
    Aug 4, 2012 - 1:37AM

    IF you are so technical strong & you think its fraud! why don’t you go & find it out an bring it on!

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  • anonymus
    Aug 4, 2012 - 1:49AM

    Khairpur device….. haa haa
    Be kind to poor soul “engineer waqar” as he has three year education after matric. he may be realy excited about his finding as he is driving the car infront of so many people.
    Brutally hammer atom bomb doctors like Q Khan Coal Mubark as ther have some knowledge of physics. they are heroes!!!
    I remener another hoax that was published in hearld in early seventies that some one has box of magic / rays ans was treating cancer.
    there was a doctor/professor in Dow med College/ CHK who was treating gangrene/ dead tissues with power of his hands as he claimed that his hands were emitting beta rays or some thing like that.
    Science is full of surprises.
    Darwins was ridiculed and still being ridiculed even thougth proof is beyond any doubt.
    People used to laugh at steam engine train as horse carraige was faster than that.
    Lord of scientific society did not believe atomic energy to begin with in UK.
    I personnaly don’t believe in “Khairpur” device but all critics will believe it, if that is true, as scientist can change his opinion upon proof as it is not faith based dogma.Recommend

  • Ahmedilulah
    Aug 4, 2012 - 2:03AM

    I wish we would give Agha Waqar some benefit of the doubt, as I had the opportunity to ask him myself about his invention. The water car does really work. I saw it with my own eyes. Agha confessed that his secret was really his son, who is a bit of a midget and is small enough to fit inside the hood of the car and crank the shaft with his own bare hands. Somewhat intrigued, I asked “what about the water part? Where does that come in?”. “well, you know my son gets pretty thirsty in there with all his hard work,” he added meekly!!

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  • Lala Gee
    Aug 4, 2012 - 2:04AM

    @Author:

    I recently watched this video of “Stanley Meyer Lecture” on youtube in which he thoroughly explains how to generate hydrogen from water using less energy than the energy that would be created by burning the resulting hydrogen in a combustion engine. Although his design looks different than Mr. Waqar’s but still the basic principle is same. May be you can shed some light.

    I think the best way to judge his claims is to wait a little bit as he has given some successful demos to many capable scientists and engineers and allow him to prove if his model still works in further rigorous tests. I am sure even if he fails, this will be done some time in future as the proportion of water on earth is pointer of nature (deliberately avoiding mentioning God) to its utility far far more than what we are currently utilizing.

    H2O Car – Water Powered Car
    Truck Runs 100 % on Water

    Recommend

  • a_writer
    Aug 4, 2012 - 2:43AM

    @faraz:

    Huh!

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  • Observer
    Aug 4, 2012 - 2:47AM

    @Mirza:

    “Our scientists cannot even bother to check the Web, if not the books which take much longer.”

    You are self-contradictory! If one is a real scientist or just a high-school student who has taken science courses, why would you need to consult the web or a book to realize right off this “invention” is a hoax and that too an old hoax?

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  • a_writer
    Aug 4, 2012 - 2:50AM

    Pakistan should review the Indus Water Treaty with India with renewed vigor – there is so much more at stake now !

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  • Hasan
    Aug 4, 2012 - 2:50AM

    @TAmil Arasan: Dude, please do your research before putting empty comments. Bloom box is a tested and accepted concept invented by an Indian scientist. It is already deployed in Google, eBay, Walmart, Bank of America, Staples and Coca Cola offices, generating thousands of Kwh energy and powering entire building blocks successfully. You compare such a wonderful tech with this junk? This guy is a big fraud like many other here in pakistan. He defies the laws of physics and would be thrown out of any respectable institution. His technology of electrolysis is decades old too.

    Recommend

  • Observer
    Aug 4, 2012 - 2:57AM

    @A Metric Pass with Real Degree:

    “I havent seen it yet so, like a sensible student of engineering I am refraining from passing any judgements.”

    Do you believe the earth is round? I am sure you think it is flat because you haven’t by yourself really seen that it is round!

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  • Aug 4, 2012 - 3:02AM

    The difference between the cultures of East and West is that in the West they encourage innovation and new ideas. In the East, not including yellow nations, people discourage new ideas and new inventions. If someone takes the initiative they look down upon him. The idea the inventor-engineer is pursuing is viable. The process is genuine. It is always little tweaks that get extra-ordinary results. Science is about experimentation, trials, restarts, failures and successes. If we have hundreds of engineers trying to experiment with new ideas and experiments Pakistan can achieve lot of progress. This article was pure discouragement for others who could follow the footsteps of Agha Waqar Ahmed.

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  • Usman Shahid
    Aug 4, 2012 - 3:09AM

    Just imagine a huge windmill on the top of the car, wawooooooooooo,

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  • fawad
    Aug 4, 2012 - 3:13AM

    just brilliant

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  • Majid Urrehman
    Aug 4, 2012 - 4:34AM

    The reason we are seeing such a low level of heads of scientific institutes is that we are not employing Physicists anywhere. Our physics graduate has no job but to teach school/ college/ uni students. They are not part of any development project, the least civil projects.

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  • Nauman
    Aug 4, 2012 - 4:35AM

    well, i think agha waqar is fraud, but the idea is still a valid one, we only need a compound whose energy of formation is more then that of wate
    as for the case that water’s energy of formation cannot be more then itself ;P the only possibility i see after googling is that ”energy of formation of liquide water is 40joule more then that of gasseous”
    sory if iam wrong ,..

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  • Chan Makhna
    Aug 4, 2012 - 4:40AM

    All people are shouting about theory, theory, theory…….. But it is not compulsory that every theory is a universal truth, many theories have been proved wrong with the passage of time. Agha Waqar has proved his practical work. No doubt this technology will improve further then it would be able to give better efficiency. We all are pulling legs of our own hero Agha Waqar. All these arrogant scientists are hurts that why they could not made this technology, why did a simple person make this technology? and nothing else………….Agha Waqar don’t loose your heart, keep it up! May you succeed. Our prayers are with you. LONG LIVE AGHA WAQAR

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  • salarmaiwand
    Aug 4, 2012 - 4:43AM

    i have no doubt that this water kit is flawed and absurd. but the writer is repeatedly calling the water kit “khairpur device” which can have ethnic and subnational overtones. Despite the scientific absurdity of the claim, we should be careful not to stir ethnic feelings. If agha waqar violates the basic laws of phsyics, the writer is violating the basic laws of ethnic coexistence.

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  • Masroor
    Aug 4, 2012 - 4:53AM

    Another MIT professor who has done nothing for the energy crisis but is ready to damage Pakistan’s image with his theories!

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  • Imran Con
    Aug 4, 2012 - 5:08AM

    Given that his type isn’t rare I just rolled my eyes and passed over it. When I saw people reference the reactions from those high up in the Pakistan government, I laughed a little and wasn’t surprised. When I saw the comments of those who were considered some of the most supposedly reputable Pakistanis in the field… I sincerely felt embarrassed for Pakistanis as a whole to the extent of hoping it would blow over as quick as their soldiers getting beheaded.

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  • martialazam
    Aug 4, 2012 - 5:43AM

    The issue is simple. Inventions are made most offenly by non PhD’s and non doctors. They just first criticise it then adopt it and defend it.to cover their inability.

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  • ali
    Aug 4, 2012 - 5:50AM

    well all criticism aside , the fact of the matter is that Dr AQ khan is a metallurgist… He should not have jumped into this.. Its no reason to doubt his capabilities for what he has worked on.. Mechanical enggs should give their comments on this issue .. Of course after physically checking this model…

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  • vasan
    Aug 4, 2012 - 6:10AM

    What everyone has missed is that Agha Waqar Ahmed has locked a green jinn inside the water kit which keeps splitting the water into Hydrogen and Oxygen, molecule by molecule one at a time at the speed of light. Can u anyone disprove this.

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  • Cheers
    Aug 4, 2012 - 6:31AM

    Hamid Mir, Talat Hussain or some of the scientists supporting this invention would redeem themselves and the nation to some extent if they ask that engineer to install the kit in (let’s say Hamid Mir’s) car in front of technical persons, empty/disconnect the fuel/gas tanks, and then ask him to drive the car for at least 50 km or even more if needed, and sit with him in the same car. Everything will become crystal clear.

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  • AS
    Aug 4, 2012 - 7:17AM

    Respectfully speaking perhaps Dr. hoodhbhoy and Dr. Rehman are misapplying the law of conservation of energy.

    I have tried to explain the process here :

    http://publicaccessarticles.blogspot.com/2012/08/recently-there-was-news-of-engineer.html

    Please make sure that you alert others that you were incorrect in your initial assumptions.

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  • Zalim Singh
    Aug 4, 2012 - 7:42AM

    We had these kind of scams in 1970s. I think Pakistan is still behind us by 40 years.

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  • American Desi
    Aug 4, 2012 - 8:08AM

    Look at the brighter side. With the invention and mass production of this wonderful Khairpur Device running on water, Arabs will be migrating to Pakistan seeking jobs. What a great way to unite the Ummah?! Sweet revenge at the same time!

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  • Faraz
    Aug 4, 2012 - 8:24AM

    @A Metric Pass with Real Degree:
    well, you have to be a very poor student not to pass a judgement. This is a fraud and you don’t need to investigate and bring further shame to science.

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  • Mirza
    Aug 4, 2012 - 9:01AM

    @Observer:
    What I was saying is even if something new comes out that is too good to be true, I personally check the Web quickly for any recent updates/modification or scams regarding the subject. In Pakistan I had a habit of telling the answer right away. Over the years I have learned to rethink and also give scientific references in my answers. This has been a part of my professional life and it has helped me with my credibility in the world of science. I only wished that this Pakistani engineer had this habit of rechecking and peer review before coming out with his “invention”.
    You don’t have to follow what I do but I gave you the honest answer. Just this morning I had a question regarding a certain virus and how to disinfect from its contamination. I know the answer that from common bleach to many disinfectants would do the job, but I did literature search and sent the reply to the customer with technical references. In science it is not what I believe but what the expert and literature is saying today. Sorry for being elder brother. Regards,
    Mirza

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  • observer
    Aug 4, 2012 - 9:33AM

    @Rauflala

    and write its statement on the ground with your nose.

    Excellent advice Sir. This will also sharpen their nose for the future.

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  • kor the wran
    Aug 4, 2012 - 10:15AM

    How dare you challenge the knowledge of AQ Khan. A man who can make an atom bomb and that too the first one in the islamic world can be hoodwinked by a naive khairporian engineer. Was not It was a miracle to have successfully detonated nuclear bomb and is not it a miracle that water’s potential as a limitless source of energy has been invented in the land of pure. The world is wrong to call us an international migraine. We have proved -and beyond an iota of doubt because it was verified by no less a man than AQ Khan- that water car is a reality and rid the world of intractable problem of energy scarcity. I am sure Hamid MIr will have arranged impregnable security to this national strategic asset. We are blessed to have the blessings of blessed souls. Mir sahib keep on your good work of keeping us abreast of wonderful invention that are being made by the talented Pakistanis provided they are not ahmadis.

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  • Observer
    Aug 4, 2012 - 10:21AM

    @Mirza:

    Your points well taken. No offense meant by me. But, anyone who has done even just high-school physics should know right away that this “invention” is a perpetual machine and that it violates the fundamental laws of thermodynamics.

    While I agree with you that it is better not to shoot off one’s mouth without being sure, there is no need to check and cross check everything, especially the principles taught in basic science.

    As for the bleach example, provided the concentration isn’t too low, no organism can survive as they will be chlorinated. Any chemistry 101 student should know this. Again, no offense meant to you. Just pointing out that there is no need to double check everything. But, there is no harm in your approach.

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  • An Engineer
    Aug 4, 2012 - 10:27AM

    @AS: Battery consuming 2 Joule energy and giving away 10 Joule energy (as per your explanation) is what we call violation of 1st law of thermodynamics.

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  • Observer
    Aug 4, 2012 - 10:37AM

    @AS:

    What is your point? Do you understand the laws of thermodynamics? Do you understand the meaning of “efficiency of energy conversion” ? Do you think that this hoax perpetrator has invented a machine that “reversibly”, that is with 100% efficiency, from electrical to mechanical to chemical energy? That is, has he magically invented a perpetual machine that in isolation can convert the same amount of energy indefinitely from one form to the other with zero losses to the “thermodynamic sink”?

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  • Asad
    Aug 4, 2012 - 10:55AM

    @Arijit Sharma: you and your undying obsession with pakistan tsk tsk get life dude this has nothing to with you or your kind.

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  • Asad
    Aug 4, 2012 - 10:59AM

    @Zalim Singh: Yeah we are behind you indians in trolling

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  • Yousuf
    Aug 4, 2012 - 11:07AM

    Our so-called Media Anchors, Politicians and Nuclear Scientist are attempting to make Perpetual Mockery Making of Pakistan by giving their naive comments rather than Perpetual Motion Machine out of this fraud. Wake up Media wake up specially Mr. Hamid Mir.

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  • Aug 4, 2012 - 11:17AM

    we Pakistanis are fools and always be, why don’t a few experts examine the water kit on the spot instead of making this a celebrity and exposure on national Media? Since a couple of weeks we see all these nonsense in all the newspagers and electronic media..

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  • ordinary Pakistani
    Aug 4, 2012 - 11:28AM

    Do we now actualy believe that Dr. Qadeer was a person behind our nuclear bomb? and Dr. Mand is capable of generating power through Thar coal mines?

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  • Hunter punter
    Aug 4, 2012 - 11:47AM

    Very unfair to pakistan, as this “device” can overturn all global powers, and make pakistan the worlds wealthiest!!
    Delusions apart, desperation doesake a society not just loony, but trying to grab every straw. Unfortunately lot of people still drown.

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  • Gogi Machhera
    Aug 4, 2012 - 1:04PM

    @Arijit Sharma:
    May be a hoax until flatenning of the Mumbai and Delhi landscapes as a result of India’s miscalculation based on faith in your proposition …LOL

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  • Uza Syed
    Aug 4, 2012 - 1:09PM

    It is a mad, mad world and sad, too. Can we get crazier than this?

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  • Atanu Dey
    Aug 4, 2012 - 1:15PM

    Dr Amer Iqbal needs to go back to school and understand the nature of scientific laws. They are empirical laws. There’s nothing that says that the laws of thermodynamics are inviolable. It is extremely extremely extremely (raised to a very high exponent) unlikely that they will be violated but those laws are not like mathematical laws.

    Dr Amer Iqbal is more educated than the “water fuel” engineer but when it comes to the understanding the nature of laws, he is fairly clueless.

    Sincerely,
    Atanu

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  • adnan
    Aug 4, 2012 - 2:20PM

    Extraordinary level of claims require extraordinary proofs.

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  • Hasan Mehmood
    Aug 4, 2012 - 2:21PM

    @Zalim Singh:
    Dont be a Zalim please

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  • observer
    Aug 4, 2012 - 2:31PM

    Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Hear Ye All

    The Inventor-e-Azam is running shy of any Technical Evaluation.

    When Waqar was asked by The Express Tribune why he did not show up at NUST on Thursday, he said that the plan had changed. “The technical examination has now been deferred for an unidentified period of time and will not happen soon,” he said. When inquired to explain the reason for the deferral, Waqar simply hung up the phone.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/417246/water-world-dr-attaur-rehman-senses-a-scam-behind-man-touting-water-kit/

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  • Silas
    Aug 4, 2012 - 3:11PM

    @Mujtaba:
    Law of thermodynamics is not some random law that can be amended. Damn you people know nothing about physics

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  • Sultan
    Aug 4, 2012 - 3:18PM

    @A Metric Pass with Real Degree:

    “Can you prove this thing wrong, Scientifically?”

    Actually, Amer Iqbal just did.

    And he shouldn’t have had to.

    An extraordinary claim overturning fundamental physical law has been made,
    extraordinary proof of the claim is required. There is no requirement to accept this claim until then.

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  • s.w.a
    Aug 4, 2012 - 3:20PM

    @Chan Makhna:
    Dear Sir,
    whatever you are saying is what is wrong with our education system. Go back and revise your 9th grade science. There is a difference between a theory and a law. Conservation of energy is a LAW.

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  • Muhammad Ismail
    Aug 4, 2012 - 3:24PM

    @Arijit Sharma: shouldn’t associate with region but the person …

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  • a_writer
    Aug 4, 2012 - 4:04PM

    Apparently, the Pakistan Ambassador to UAE has invited this inventor to Abu Dhabi to demonstrate his achievement ! ( I read it in the ‘business recorder’ website – which appears to be published from Pakistan).
    It is time to let the Gulf and beyond know the great achievements in science and buffoonery by the people of Pakistan.

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  • Physics
    Aug 4, 2012 - 4:22PM

    @Mujtaba:
    you must be kiddin yourself. the whole process of this water kit is clear cut voilation of laws of thermodynamics and energy conservation. Laws are discovered from nature not fabricated hence no one can voilate them. eg. you cannot go back into time its one dimensional.

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  • Pollack
    Aug 4, 2012 - 4:24PM

    @Arifq:
    “Are we that gullible or just desperate?”

    Just desperate. Never heard of a gullible Pakistani.

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  • nasir
    Aug 4, 2012 - 4:24PM

    Supreme court must take sue moto to contempt of Physics law………….

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  • Imran kaiser
    Aug 4, 2012 - 4:58PM

    Ban geo network for assisting and misguiding Pakistani poor people.gve award to Mir for his continuous do numbee .

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  • M Baloch
    Aug 4, 2012 - 5:05PM

    The author is repeating arguments presented by Dr. Hoodbhoy and most of people having basic know-how of Science agree to it. But what is disgraceful and utter shame is the author’s tone & regional bias, since when the water kit is being called “Khairpur device”. And if the author bothers to see any other thing not repeated by Dr. Hoodbhoy, he may see following links and name them as “Swat generator” & Punjabi engine, but I don’t think he has the courage to do so.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7lPTXSjdmQ

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxr38V50p2s&feature=relatedRecommend

  • Toba Alu
    Aug 4, 2012 - 5:21PM

    I am not stunned that this discussion takes place, even at the highest level of Government. It is sad that serious people (like the author and Pervaiz Hoodbhoy) still have to spend their valuable time on debunking this ultimo moment of eureka. Stop this debate as the inmates are running the institution. No hope for the time being. Sorry. Btw I like your comment Nasir!!!

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  • Munir Kakar
    Aug 4, 2012 - 5:35PM

    This water car enterprise reminded me of another hoax perpetrated by an enterprising young man. It was about two years ago that a Pir appeared out the blue in rural area of district Pishin and begin treating all ailments ranging from cancer to diabetes with tube-well water. Tens of thousands flocked to his house and each got home with a bottle of water gifted by Bottle Baba albeit having made a hefty payment.This fraud continued for well over six months long enough to expose the trickster. The history is repeating itself and now we have diploma holder out there and supported by atom bomb baba and star anchor to make the whole world believe to have solved the intractable problem of scarcity of energy the whole humanity has been grappling with for centuries.I wish this feel good euphoria remained for some time but the physicists exposed it too soon to have us enjoyed this hoax for sometime. I reckon Bottle Baba was proved himself more ingenious than atom bomb Baba,

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  • Dr Khan
    Aug 4, 2012 - 5:44PM

    This is beyond embarrassment we look like utter imbeciles. When senior scientists approve of his invention it looks like the whole country has gone bananas. I did my PhD in Chemical Engineering in Canada and I think about my friends and colleagues there. I will not be able to look them in the eye. I know them well and they would be laughing at us and ridiculing us. We have been reduced to entertainment for the rest of the world.

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  • Aslam
    Aug 4, 2012 - 6:13PM

    Many “scientists” are slamming Engineer Waqar Ahmad and refusing to believe the water kit that he “invented”. But till now, nobody told us that it is fraud, how and why, he did it and nobody has claimed that he can find his trick or fraud. If somebody has expertise, he or she should challenge him openly and should expose him in the media. Why all are only blaming but not giving proof of his fraud. For common man, it is a fact that he ran a car on water as fuel till anybody prove him a fraudster.

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  • ArunK
    Aug 4, 2012 - 6:23PM

    Folks, proving that the car works is simple. What is required is the following:

    The issue is that with the current state of the art, it takes 3 times the energy to produce the Hydrogen than the energy generated by burning it. So the trick is to invent an electrolysis process — or something else altogether — that is so efficient that it can break up water using less than 1/3 rd the power that is currently used. All that the engineer has to do is prove this. The car will take care of itself.

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  • Venuto
    Aug 4, 2012 - 6:49PM

    LOL…this is the funniest thing I have come across in a long time.

    How long before we find out that the power of Islam can break the laws of physics in Pakistan?

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  • F Khan
    Aug 4, 2012 - 7:01PM

    I remember a decade ago a cheat in hyderabad discovered a medicine which could treat diabetes in 3 doses. My God what a event it was……half of pakistan gathered at the door of this noble laureate..begging for a dose of the miracle drug……just to know in 3 weeks the guy was a cheat……mabrook we have another one now in the name of agha weqar….all i can say to our beloved pakistani newton….tusi great ho….pura pakistan ko kam par laga diya hai….tusi great ho.

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  • Chulbul Pandey
    Aug 4, 2012 - 7:06PM

    @nasir: Supreme court must take sue moto to contempt of Physics law………….

    Ha ha! the best comment I have read on this whole Water Boy drama.

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  • The con-inspiration-ist
    Aug 4, 2012 - 7:56PM

    real man talking..

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  • TrueMuslim
    Aug 4, 2012 - 8:37PM

    MIT scholar demeaning Pakistani achievements. What else is new?Recommend

  • Salman
    Aug 4, 2012 - 9:02PM

    you cant just rule out the use of water as fuel in cars.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=can-cars-use-water-for-fuel

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  • Cynical
    Aug 4, 2012 - 9:18PM

    @Lala Gee

    ‘I am sure even if he fails, this will be done sometime in future as the proportion of water on earth is pointer of nature (deliberately avoiding mentioning God) to its utility far far more than what we are currently utilizing.’

    Wonderful. Couldn’t agree more. But instead of ‘deliberately avoiding mention of God’ you should invoke God most forcefully, because he is the source and absolute owner of all the power on earth, water,air,earth everything. We must not loose faith. Remember humans were created from a lump of clay and be convinced that one day cars will run on water.

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  • 1 and All zeros
    Aug 4, 2012 - 9:45PM

    I think professor is less convinced of the dogmatic theory that earth is flat and sun revolves around earth.The professor will cry in resentment once supporting scientific proofs favor “Khairpur Device”. Ultimately, this article would be the sole reason for rest of his life on a pittance.

    Neanderthal to Neanderthal “wow, you developed such a nice carved instrument, this is impossible”
    In science everything starts from “THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE”

    Let us see the consequences! They were Greeks; We’re Pakistanis!

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  • An Engineer
    Aug 4, 2012 - 10:06PM

    @ArunK: “The issue is that with the current state of the art, it takes 3 times the energy to produce the Hydrogen than the energy generated by burning it. So the trick is to invent an electrolysis process — or something else altogether — that is so efficient that it can break up water using less than 1/3 rd the power that is currently used.
    This can’t be done as dictated by laws governing this universe.

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  • Dr Khan
    Aug 4, 2012 - 10:13PM

    “The desperation to believe in ourselves as a nation possibly stems from an utter failure in sciences, while scientific and technological progress by others keeps on gathering pace and the gulf grows ever wider, likely to be unbridgeable by now.”

    Those sentences are painful to read but a very truthful assessment. I hope one day we will wake up. It is up to the younger generation.

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Aug 4, 2012 - 10:19PM

    Dr. Khan and Dr. Samar’s nod of Khairpur project has put doubts on our nuclear programme. Its strange that USA and rest of the western countries did not raise an eye brow on our programme whereas they destroyed Iraq’s nuclear reactor and are not allowing Iran to make a nuclear weapon. Few tons of explosives, performance of our political actors, Mullah’s slogans and USA’s verbal threats could have made us an atomic power.

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  • Neutral
    Aug 4, 2012 - 10:41PM

    Dr Qadeer Khan should act as more as a scientist (which he fails) rather than being important. Seriously, hard to believe if he ever entered a laboratory.

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  • Arijit Sharma
    Aug 5, 2012 - 12:46AM

    @Asad: ” … @Arijit Sharma: you and your undying obsession with pakistan tsk tsk get life dude this has nothing to with you or your kind. … “

    Show me one comment I made on ET before 26/11.

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  • JK
    Aug 5, 2012 - 12:55AM

    I dont know y writer is underestimating Quantum Physics.. Through Quantum energy its possible to break the bonding with very low energy by providing pulses and producing resonance… Its just like if 10 people walk on bridge nothing will happened, but if they start jumping simultaniously, chances of breaking of bridge increases 10 times… One shouldn’t see through glasses of skeptimism.. This is possible and technology is already tested in Japan and Australia.. Agha Waqar may not know about Quantum Energy, but accedently through years of experiments he may have produced kit which is workable..!! Still no one proved that claim of Agha Waqar is Fraud….!! No scientist proved that thing…Scientist should investigate the process instead of denying what is possible or not..!! There is nothing impossible in science… Only techniques need to be understood, no laws are broken, our view is too small and we underestimate our human resource…!!!

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  • Jai
    Aug 5, 2012 - 1:17AM

    The laws of physics are not sharia compliant so Pakistan refuses to recognize them.

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  • Uzma Shah
    Aug 5, 2012 - 12:04PM

    Its sad, its sad… on a lighter note I read the following article and it mentions some hillarious quotes by our scientists. Worth reading …http://mintopark.com/2012/08/04/meet-the-mullahs-of-science-water-car/
    Why are we wondering if laws of thermodynamisc have been violated in Pakistan, which laws we have not broken before? … Lol

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  • Cynical
    Aug 5, 2012 - 6:55PM

    @Arijit Sharma

    ‘Show me one comment I made on ET before 26/11.’

    One of the finest (strongest too) one liner rebuttal I have come across ever.
    Congrats!!!

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  • Mirza
    Aug 6, 2012 - 10:07AM

    @Observer: No problem Sir. I do not take anything personally in a discussion. As I said I had the same attitude as most Pakistanis have and did not hesitate to reply right away. I gradually evolved in this new pattern of thinking and checking before writing with references. Of course when I reply about bleach or any disinfectant I would give the full dilution ratio in a scientific way. BTW, I do design new products especially sterilizer which are the highest level disinfectants. Even though bleach is the cheapest and best sterilizer but it cannot be used on humans as it is very irritating and corrosive to skin and atmosphere.
    Cheers,
    Dr. Mirza

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  • A
    Aug 6, 2012 - 12:22PM

    Khairpur Device :)

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  • Aug 6, 2012 - 6:51PM

    Good effort Sir !

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  • Imran
    Aug 6, 2012 - 10:07PM

    Excellent article. A black crow is always black. There is no need to go there where someone claim it to be white. Even a student of class 7 can tell that It is not possible.

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  • Mohammad Yahya Niazi
    Aug 7, 2012 - 10:33AM

    Funny Business I would say.

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  • Kaspar
    Aug 9, 2012 - 3:03PM

    New ideas have often been made fun off. The point is this: If this man is a fraud, time will expose him as such. He will get nothing by giving publicity to the fraud because unless his scheme works, he cannot make money out of it. Leave it to him and the manufacturer who takes up his ‘invention’ to prove his case.
    However, the so-called physics professors and mechanical engineers who try to condemn him outright citing the ‘laws of physics’ need not exert themselves so much in refuting him.
    We should also know that in history, many ideas even though they may not be new, or even be obvious, are not made use of until someone determined and eccentric enough to develop it takes it up. Remember, everybody saw steam boiling in a kettle but it took James Watt to build a steam engine.

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  • Top Cat
    Aug 31, 2012 - 1:53PM

    All you have done to refute Agha Waqar’s claim is provide an analogy… You still haven’t refuted his claim scientifically… Why are you so called physicists so stuck up…

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  • Kaspar
    Sep 2, 2012 - 12:03AM

    I wonder why people are refuting his claim. They should accept his claim, but proof of the pudding is in the eating. If he is right, he should go ahead, approach some reputable manufacturers and get his car working. God speed to himm. What is the point in coming on the media nd wsating time. Hurry up Waqar, time is money!

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  • Juanchogespacho
    Sep 10, 2012 - 8:55PM

    Scientific laws COULD BE CHANGED tomorrow with new evidence, perspectives or realizations of past mistakes. Scientific laws are NOT absolute. They CAN be changed just as easily as a scientific theory.

    However, this does not necessarily mean that a particular law that is in question is necessarily wrong.

    NOTHING in science is sacrosanct.

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