Agha Waqar and his ‘science-less’ kit

Published: August 3, 2012
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I asked about his views on the second law of thermodynamics; Entropy and he claimed that it too had become obsolete after his experiment. DESIGN: ERUM SHAIKH

In a telephonic interview with Agha Waqar Ahmed on July 29, 2012, for Sindh Express, most of my questions to him were about the physics, thermodynamics and chemistry behind his water kit. However, some questions regarding thermodynamics were not addressed as they should have been and I felt as though Waqar knew more about the ‘engineering’ behind his kit but not the ‘physics’ that went into it.

Though it is not mandatory for an inventor to be a PhD, this age of fraudulent and quack inventions calls for every aspect of an invention to be examined thoroughly. Allow me to refresh your memory and remind you that the water kit experiments are not new in the world today despite a section of our media reporting it as a ‘new’ invention.

A leading Sindhi newspaper in its editorial even claimed that Agha Waqar’s water kit is worthy of a Nobel Prize! This is because most journalists of our mass media do not possess the academic background relevant to science and/or they do not see the problems of science on a theoretical level. This is also a contributing factor to the hype that we have seen regarding Agha’s water kit.

As a student of science and technology, I know that water can easily be converted to produce energy, but only if the required energy is given as an input. So, as many of you might know, there are a number of websites that are selling DIY water kits, but the question remains; are they purely water powered kits? For me, this was definitely not a new experiment; in fact, you can also perform it at home with proper training guides. It is the simplest formula of thermodynamics.

So coming back to the interview, I raised questions about the first and second law of thermodynamics.

The first law simply states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed but it can change form. In a water kit such as Agha’s, one is required to supply energy from an external source, such as the vehicle’s battery, to split the water molecule (H2¬O), resulting in two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen. Then, by mixing both gases, now split, a compound can be created called oxy-hydrogen or HHO, resulting in the release of energy which can power up an engine.

But according to the first law of thermodynamics, hydrogen cannot give surplus energy; it must give back the same amount of energy which it took from the vehicle’s battery to split itself up from the water molecule.

You do remember that energy can neither be created nor can it be destroyed, right?

The process discussed above is called electrolysis.

I asked Agha Waqar to confirm it. He confirmed that his kit used electrolysis.

I then asked him, how many times he changed or recharged his battery? He said he didn’t change it or recharge it. The next question, naturally, was whether he used any catalysts to boost the chemical reaction between oxygen and hydrogen, such as potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide. He denied any use of such a catalyst.

At this point, I interjected, stating that if that were the case then there was something wrong with his experiment, as it is not possible according to the law of conservation of energy. He defended this by stating that the first law of thermodynamics is wrong! Shocked to have heard such a remark, I gathered myself and proceeded further to ask about his views on the second law of thermodynamics; entropy. He claimed that it, too, had become obsolete after his experiment ─ I reported the same to the Sindh Express on July 30, 2012.

Now, if these laws of physics are wrong – as per Mr Agha Waqar’s claim – then theoretical physics, as a whole will have to be re-evaluated, the foundation of physics will have to be rebuilt from the scratch and the laws of thermodynamics will have to be rediscovered! Agha may not be aware, but his claim would also put the theory of general relativity and quantum mechanics in question.

I do not believe that Agha Waqar thought clearly about the gravity of such theoretical problems and complexities of physics when he made his claims in order to justify his kit.

I, thus, concluded that, Agha Waqar was not a scientist, but a mere mechanical engineer.

There have been hundreds of such claims before him, which unfortunately ended up as bogus – and rightfully so. Agha Waqar seems frightfully close to this list if experts are not permitted to examine his ‘magic’ kit.

The day after the interview, the only report, with scientific support on this issue was published in the Sindhi press. A section of the media, which had previously been promoting him, without proper scientific inquiry, as a ‘national hero’ of Sindh was thus silenced.

Follow Zafar on Twitter @zafarimam

Zafar Imam

Zafar Imam

A graduate in IT and an MBA holder, Zafar is a sub-editor at the op-ed desk at the Sindh Express. He is a regular columnist of the same daily as well and is interested in political economy, sci-tech and political satire. He tweets @zafarimam.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.