For decades, new-energy researchers talked about the possibility of treating a magnet so that its magnetic field would continuously shake or vibrate. On rare occasions, Sweet saw this effect, called self-oscillation, occur in electric transformers. He felt it could be coaxed into doing something useful, such as producing energy. Sweet thought that if he could find the precise way to shake or disturb a magnet's force field, the field would continue to shake by itself. It would be similar to striking a bell and having the bell keep on ringing. Sweet - who said his ideas came to him in dreams - turned for inspiration to his expertise in magnets. He knew magnets could be used to produce electricity, and wanted to see if he could get power out of a magnet by something other than the standard induction process. What Sweet wanted to do was to keep the magnet still and just shake its magnetic field. This shaking, in turn, would create an electric current. One new-energy researcher compares self-oscillation to a leaf on a tree waving in a gentle breeze. While the breeze itself isn't moving back and forth, it sets the leaf into that kind of motion. Sweet thought that if cosmic energy could be captured to serve as the breeze, then the magnetic field would serve as the leaf. Sweet would just have to supply a small amount of energy to set the magnetic field in motion, and space energy would keep it moving.
Jeane Manning Breakthrough Power: How Quantum-Leap New Energy Inventions Can Transform Our World