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Old 02-14-2012, 05:29 AM   #1
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FWIW: Cold fusion from hot-dysfunction Greece?

http://pesn.com/2012/02/13/9602039_H...n_Cold_Fusion/

I was following the story of one Italian professor from Italy's University of Bologne (one of the oldest in Europe, if not the oldest) claiming being able to produce low-temp fusion reactions, that are quite safe, and do not produce radioactive waste (there is some radiation when reactions take place, but it is easy to contain, and stops when reaction is stopped). Apparently, the company featured in the link above, was meant to help him commercialize/mass produce generators that would fuse Nickel and Hydrogen, producing excess heat (and the rest of the story is pretty much conventional: water+heat=>steam=>steam turbine=>generator=>TADA!). The cooperation didnt went well, and they parted ways with good professor, but apparently didn't part the ways with the idea of commercializing the generator. But that's another story.

I thought I will send you a link, because it is one thing I know of, IF TRUE & CONFIRMED, that could indeed save the day, and let us in the near horizon produce affordable, dependable, safe, clean, and extremely cost efficient distributed energy sources. That would allow us to keep up with the growing energy needs of the growing economy - although the switch from oil to electricity would still be very costly and potentially, cost-prohibitive, for troubled economies. So expect bumpy road ahead even in the best case scenario (that this stuff indeed works, and is not some kind of scam to lure investors, or some stupid measurements errors)

See the big font? that is how big IF it is . For now, there is no independent confirmation, that I know of, and inventors's track of record is not exactly crystal clear. He was serving time for some illegal market activities. Tinfoil hats cry "suppression", but I do not have an opinion, might be, might be not. The whole story SEEMS plausible, given the list of serious people involved in (many academics).

UPDATE: that is original inventor's story (guys in link above, although initially meant to mass-produce Rossi's generators, claim that their own version does not conflict with intellectual property of A.Rossi & co. Hard to believe, but I do not really care that much, as long as the story is true and SOMEBODY starts selling these babes to the public):
http://peswiki.com/index.php/Directo...sion_Generator

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Old 02-14-2012, 06:15 AM   #2
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You are totally trolling DCF now, aren't you?

Evaluating the merits of his discovery is beyond me, but if no one can independently confirm the process, I will remain skeptical. There seem to be a lot of charlatans playing in this field.

Nickel huh? Kyle Bass likes the sound of that.
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Old 02-14-2012, 06:31 AM   #3
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...no denial here, I'd like to hear his take on it! And I totally agree, until it is not independently confirmed OR sold & tested in the field, I won't be selling your solar panels, DCF - and I do not think you need this advice from me . But I also appreciate the fact, that the original (alleged ) inventor is not running to everybody, describing his test bed setups, and asking for independent replication/verification. The story is self-commenting in this regard - re his misfortune with the licensee, turned into "independent manufacturer".

I am all for science, but, and here's just one small but.. There's so many known unknowns & unknown unknowns in our understanding of this World & beyond (despite the huge understanding amassed since this human race started collecting it, that I fully appreciate), that it would make good old Donald R. blush. So I do not rule anything out, just because the current "rule of science" says so. That would be very non-scientific approach . I will judge this guy for his achievements, or lack of them - and I am well aware that this area is full of charlatans, and this one might very well be one of them.

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Old 02-14-2012, 06:37 AM   #4
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Tinfoil hats cry "suppression", but I do not have an opinion, might be, might be not. The whole story SEEMS plausible,...
This reminds me of the guy that promised to create a car that could run on water. He busied himself for a time doing so, and when he had accomplished the feat, he Drove it to the U.S. Patent building. Never to be heard from again.
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Old 02-14-2012, 06:54 AM   #5
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...the only saving grace I see in it, that makes me say "plausible", is the involvement of several scientists and universities, and quite substantial investments already done, to mass produce it. Allegedly, investors were demoed, before committing to the plant manufacturing. That would seem likely to me as well, that any serious investment would be precluded with at least non-public demo/confirmation, for potential investors - and that is what has happened, to my knowledge (again - ALLEGEDLY )

But again, I do not claim yes or not on this

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Old 02-14-2012, 09:06 AM   #6
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Ummmmm......

Cold fusion? That's like getting a high definition picture of an actual unicorn.
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:35 PM   #7
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Ancona: why, because it hasn't been announced by mainstream yet? I thought we all know better than this here ;-)

Some more news: they have announced they are letting independent scientists to test the devices soon.

http://www.postcarbon.org/article/72...hnology-update

Quote :
The 800 lb. gorilla of course remains cold fusion. While little new has happened in the cold fusion story recently, scientists from around the world continue to report that Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) really do take place and can make heat. S
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This situation may be changing, however, for one of these two companies, a Greece-based organization called Defkalion, say they have arranged for teams of outside investigators to come in later this week and test their device. If this series of tests by outside scientists do take place, we should at least have some sort of independent verification that these "cold fusion" devices are for real, and not a scam as many believe.
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:49 PM   #8
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I've been offered shares in Blacklight Power Inc. ( http://www.blacklightpower.com/ ) for $ 6000 a share half a year ago.
Several serious people and companies are invested in that firm. I declined anyway.
Antony Sutton has written a book about cold fusion ten years ago and claimed it was a suppressed technology. Gerald Celente "predicted" that we'll have an energy revolution in the near future in his trends journal last year. My brother's girlfriend works at the CERN project ( http://public.web.cern.ch/public/ ) in Geneva as an astrophysicist. She looked at the claims by several "inventors" and thinks they aren't up to something.
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:07 PM   #9
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You can troll me all ya want. I'm pretty sure Rossi's a fraud. He does have a track record there...
I'd happily take substantial bets with me betting on the fraud side, with some fixed duration from pretty much all comers. Say, $10,000 each share?
http://xkcd.com/955/

This kind of stuff I get asked about all the time, so often it gets boring. Alt energy is a great place to be a scammer because there are so many starry eyed hopefuls to part from their money.

In this particular case, someone who knows the guy got a few details and tried to dupe his work, and did get some energy - about the amount you'd get burning that much hydrogen with the oxygen adsorbed on a nickel catalyst surface. No more.
He looked for copper with good gear (mass spectrometer). None.
He documented his attempt over on fusor.net FWIW. It was fairly convincing.
Such as it exists, Rossi's theory is that you can add a proton to a nickel atom and wind up with copper after a decay event. I don't think the masses work out, but since there are a few isotopes of each (with different numbers of neutrons and different non-integer masses due to different binding forces) it takes a lot of work with numbers more precise than in the chemistry books to even find out if there's such a reaction possible that has a mass defect at all. The simple calcs say, nope, you go up in total mass, and have to put in energy to do that.


I could probably utterly debunk his theory if he had one - I don't think there's even a mass discrepancy in the correct direction between what goes in and what comes out, and you need that unless we're going to say mass/energy isn't conserved. We know of no exceptions to that one at the moment, and no hints that we might be wrong.

And that's Rossi's problem - even he says he doesn't understand it, there's no theory at all.

I did see Rossi's patent application - it was rejected for non-specificity. His papers were rejected by everybody but a publisher he set up. In other words, it has all the hallmarks of every scam this business has ever seen, rather than an honest mistake. Which is what most of us think Pons and Fleischman was.

I won't say LENR (cold fusion) isn't possible - because it is, theoretically. But the theory of how things work isn't predictive of how you'd do it, any more than E-MC^2 tells you how to do that - it just says what would happen if you could convert one to the other and how much.

The more we know, the smaller the world of possibilities becomes. If you posit some new theory, well, it has to explain all the existing observations - and the wiggle room there is only getting smaller. It's a big universe and it seems almost anything that could happen has happened and been observed out there - for example, the dark matter theory, when really worked out, would tend to predict different abundance of the elements than astronomers actually observe - so it's not right, for certain. There might be some variation that IS, just that the extant one is certainly wrong.

Now, under the standard model, if you could change say, the Coulomb force, or maybe Planck's constant - man you could do things and go places. But so far we've never observed - from particle accelerators to deep space - any hint that this could be possible, and there's no way in existing theory that it could happen. In some cases if it happened anywhere, it would destroy the universe more or less instantly, so the fact that were here tends to say it doesn't happen. Why those two? I can explain, hopefully without too much complexity.

Lets take one of the simpler and easier to do reactions for fusion, which is deuterium with another D going into something else, one possibility is He (rare). That one gives 16 Mev of energy out as an X ray. The other two give a proton and Tritium, or a neutron and He3 and roughly 3.5 mev excess energy. Here's the isotopes involved:
D is a proton and a neutron, heavy hydrogen
T is a proton and two neutrons, heavier hydrogen. Nasty, radioactive stuff.
He3 is helium but only has one neutron.
He has two of each - so two D's can be one He.

How can that last one give energy? After all, it's the same number of the same stuff as you put in. But - it weighs less than two D's. The reason is the binding force between the protons and neutrons is more "satisfied" in He than it is in the D's. It's as though they all fit better into He than they do as D's. The energy released could be thought of as what happens when a stretched rubber band is allowed to relax, and He weighs just a very little bit less than two Ds because of that.

Further, due to things that are quite similar to the reasons electron shells are as they are in chemistry - the pieces "want" to get together in just this way. You have two protons of opposite spin with two neutrons also opposite filling a "shell" just like in chemistry. You'd think they want to get together like that, and actually they do.

Here's the problem. Those protons repel each other - like charges. They are pretty light (takes 6.02 e 23 of them to make a gram) but the forces required to push two to touching are huge - on the order of pounds/tons. Several mega electron volts (which is a small unit, so the number is big) - but remember, we only got 16 mev out at best because the 'mass defect" is also really small, much less than the weight of a single proton. Thus we need to put in energy (heat!) in some way to get them close enough together for the strong force to pull them in the rest of the way - that's hot fusion. Cold stuff doesn't have the energy to get there, which is why the sun is such a rotten fusion reactor (it's not that hot on this scale), even with heat and all that gravity pushing it all together - it's only so much gravity, and there's not enough to be pounds per nucleus. You should be glad it is - else it would have gone bang like an H bomb. My own fusion reactor has FAR higher energy density. So, solve that repulsion problem (the Couloumb effect) and there you are -

Or,
As luck would have it, due to the uncertainty principle, and quantum mechanics (wave functions) particles are also waves, and kind of have no definite position. What this means is that we don't have to make them touch to get them to stick, quite. That's called quantum tunneling, and yes, it's real and I can verify that.
But those wavefunctions are still tiny - it's not much help with this - because Planck's constant is also very tiny. We know of no way to increase that at present, and if it happened in nature, the universe would be a very different place - good evidence that if it does happen, it's really rare.

For reference, to get close enough to tunnel, here I need about 16 kev on each D to push them close enough (actually put enough speed on each and aim them at one another) such that one in about 10 million fuse - tunneling is probabalistic so some happens farther out - wavefunctions are like that - the distribution has "tails". This corresponds to millions of degrees if you treat it as a temperature, but I don't because my D's aren't hot - hot things have randomly directed motion, and I avoid that which is why I'm doing so well. The other 5 degrees of freedom (there are X, Y Z, and spin around all three as degrees of freedom) are just wasted input energy.Thus, even my high energy fusion is in one sense "cold" - I avoid randomness.

So, for cold fusion to work, you need to somehow overcome that repulsion to get things close enough together to make tunneling happen. EG, either make the repulsion go away (somehow reduce the effects of like charges), or make the uncertainty bigger (increase Planck's constant). Any theory that purports to be the key to fusion has to handle that some way.

There's one more possibility - due to the tails, some fusion can happen even with things pretty far apart due to the tails on the wavefunctions. But those tails are super tiny - it falls off faster than simple exponential. So you could hope that if you had some sort of situation where things bounced close and far, close and far (which needn't take energy if there's a pefect spring) that fusion might happen rarely, but you could try a lot of times for free - kind of like a guitar string might "ring" a long time from one picking - and maybe break on a peak of deflection once in awhile. I think that's what the LENR guys are hoping, but frankly if you read what they write, they are so dead wrong and unschooled on things we know for sure, it's hard to take them seriously.

But actually, and this is where I'm working now, there's just one more way. Perfect aim. If you could aim a D perfectly at another D and hit it every time, just like a benchrest shooter - (which implies very low temperature, no wiggling allowed) but with energy on it in just one degree, say X axis - then with that 32kev of energy you could get 100% fusion rates, and each fusion gives off either around 3 mev, or 16 mev, depending on the reaction pathway taken (which depends on the spins of the incoming protons and neutrons in the D's, so my theory goes). At any rate, that's decent net gain. Actually, to get to 100% rate, you'd need about 250kev energy - but that's still decent gain - call it 64 to one.

But - in a solid substance, say frozen D, the nuclei are the size of golf balls spaced roughly 1/3 of a mile apart, and it's very hard to squeeze them closer together. If you take out the electrons, they repel each other with a force no material can resist. If you leave them in the electrons hold them apart due to the geometry of their "orbits" which aren't really that as most picture them, but it works out similarly anyway. ( quantum wavefunctions are cool looking dipoles and multipoles but it takes pictures to get a hint how it really works and looks)

So, all you'd have to do is have a crystal where you know with high precision where every single nucleus was - and a perfect ion shooter gun to aim at the golf balls and miss all the grass in between, without of course, jiggling anything when you did hit one. What we do in particle accelerators or beam on target devices is more like shooting at the field of golf balls with a shotgun from a helicopter - you mostly miss, and most of the lead and gunpowder is wasted. An array of benchrest guns, perfectly aimed and fired all at once (so the first hit doesn't jiggle the targets before the other bullets get there) could work, in theory.

There is just a ghost of a chance that coherent vibrations (phonons, sound or heat) in say, palladium with D adsorbed on it could accomplish this in the crystal lattice, which is why that stuff was given even a New York second before it was tossed out the window. But it's a damn slim chance, and no one ever has....So the dreamers think some form of LENR might work out. There are just too many people who believe that Moore's law etc apply in cases where they don't, and man's been pretty lucky finding new things that have saved us before. But I think there's no guarantee of that going on forever.

Simple, eh? All you have to do is squeeze a couple things together against an infinite-range force that goes up as the square of close, until they hang around close enough long enough for a very short range force that has tails - but they decay faster than exponential with range - to take over, and fuse them. Simple in concept, anyway.

Before someone says, well, H bombs work - let me say this. Those conditions are kind of hard to work with, and you know what? It's not the resulting fusion that gives most of the energy in one. It's the fact that the D-Li6 reaction gives copious neutrons, which make the uranium or plutonium fission more before the thing blows itself apart....and a fission reaction gives on average over 150 Mev of output - ten times the energy a normal fusion reaction gives...In other words, they give you a way to burn all the fission fuel quicker, instead of the about 1% the first nukes got before they vaporized themselves and disrupted the reaction. Not many years ago that was so classified I'd be writing myself a ticket to jail for saying it, but it's out now.

Actually, this is the fewest words I've ever been able to condense this into so far, and I'm going to keep a copy. I anticipate some questions, because I've left out some important details, but this is not a bad overview. Most people are surprised to learn that in either fission or fusion, no actual particles - protons or neutrons or electrons, actually disappear at all - it's all just how nicely things wind up being packed after versus before. A neutron can decay into a proton and electron, which together weigh less than a neutron, and that gives off energy too - and it happens in beta decay after fission. So all that mass that gets converted to energy is just binding force (what particle guys call the strong force) being added or subtracted from a system of nucleons. Not a big fraction of the total mass involved at all - it's out in the decimals. For pure conversion, you're talking antimatter annihilation kinds of things, which we only do in particle accelerators at ruinous inefficiency - you have to create the stuff first, at a loss (you miss a lot).

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Old 02-24-2012, 10:06 PM   #10
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When you look at the history of "supressed techologies" you find out they were all frauds - It's a fun history starting mostly with Tesla. His "supressed" bladeless turbine works - but has 1% efficiency. Yeah, you can send radio waves through the air, and broadcast power -another suppressed tech, but it's even less efficient.

Economics always wins. If there was a 200 mpg carb, don't you think it would have leaked out by now? It would only have to cheat well-accepted laws of thermodynamics, after all, modern cars get nearly 30% of the energy out of gasoline, and that's not the problem - wind and rolling resistance are.

Fusion at gain - however you get there, is a trillion dollar baby, the ultimate high risk/high payoff issue in the world. The crumbs from that table would make anyone wealthy beyond the dreams of avarice. Things like that aren't suppressed, they are stolen and exploited, historically. The optical telescope was one of those.

And that's why I don't patent - and am giving away all my research results open source. The crumbs from that table would be fine with me, and the credit for being the originator would give me a speaking tour anyone would envy, even if someone else "steals" it to exploit. I don't want a target on my back either, should I succeed.
It's also why I self-fund all of it. No one who's begged money has ever been anything but a charlatan in all history. I don't need to be painted with that brush!
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Old 02-25-2012, 03:32 AM   #11
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Well, it will soon be a moot point to be discussing the Rossi cold fusion. The Ecat company is supposed to be bringing out his invention this year for producing heat and using a heat pump to create cold. Should be producing electricity in another year or two. IF, it does come out this year, great. IF not then the speculation is over.
Link to Ecat. http://ecat.com/
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:32 PM   #12
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Hi DCFusor!

Thanks for the post! I do have a general understanding of that stuff (like in: very general ), so I am able to follow someone's line of thought, but would have trouble putting it all together myself (and if I started calculating, I would mess up completely). Just one of those things that I once learned, passed exams, and all the details evaporated quickly afterwards - had no use for it...

I don't want to make strawman arguments here, and do agree that the field of "free energy" is riddled with charlatans, some of them just pathetic, and some - just misunderstanding, and conducting gross measurement errors (in/out energy ballance).

One thing about Rossi/ Defkalion, that puts it still into somehow "plausible" territory (and don't get me wrong - they say it is fusion, you mentioned it might be some kind of catalyst - I do not care, as long as it produces excess heat, from the stuff they claim they put in), is that they parted their ways not exactly friendly, and few months afterwards, Defkalion comes out with their nearly "ready to ship" generators. To quote:
Originally Posted by DCFusor View Post:
Things like that aren't suppressed, they are stolen and exploited, historically.
...that development makes me think they might be up to something - together with the fact, that Defkalion allegedly prepares to ship these things in near future. We will just see...
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:10 AM   #13
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Well, that's just it - they won't let anyone see if they are actually producing net excess energy above what you get from just burning the hydrogen (catalyst). The pump in H, get steam - very suggestive of a simple burning process. So far, no one with real creds or instruments has been allowed to come near the thing when it's "working" - or even when its not. All this secrecy and exclusion of the rest of the scientific community instead. That doesn't bode well at all.

Soon be moot? This is about the 5th time "we'll be sure in a year" on just this one. Sound familiar? Reminds me of extend and pretend. They already "proved" it worked last Fall, except for some reason, the "independent" observers never quite managed to publish any detailed data. How long do we put up with "just give me money for another year and it'll really be great, honest?" - for something that supposedly already works? They are just playing on those with short memories. We've supposedly already had the "proof" - but the actual data just never materialized. It doesn't take 6 months to prove one number is larger than another.

At least Pons and Fleischman were simply wrong. Some of the LENR videos (people do give scientists money to look at this) I've seen were the worst bafflegab out there, plenty to fool the general public who thinks they know something via reading Scientific American...while pretending to give details, they leave out everything crucial, promote theories that have to be wrong (the universe wouldn't exist if they were true) and so on - few are equipped to "follow the numbers" and see that, but if you are, you are stunned at the sheer chutzpah these guys exhibit to get the nice office and the cute secretary as long as "There's one born every minute".

And you're right - we'll just have to see. They're not getting any of my money, that's for sure. It's clear our own government (and a few others with the skills required to evaluate this) don't think it's real - the strategic value if it were would have taken this story in quite a different direction than what we see now. Think how many apple-carts it would upset if it works...

Catalysis doesn't add energy over the basic theory of burning, it just makes it go the the theoretical completion if it's perfect - which we get without one in the case of burning hydrogen. The trick there is you can get it to react at lower temperatures with a catalyst than otherwise - precisely the opposite of what you want to drive a heat engine with, but good to prevent people from noticing obvious flames...
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:00 AM   #14
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Thanks DCFusor,

Got your part regarding catalyst, actually that is one thing that I am most vary about - since they are always mum on how much HYDROGEN the thing consumes.

Well, lack of an answer is also an answer, isn't it. We will soon see.

Off topic, but always wanted to talk to someone with a very good scientific background: we all know about 2nd law of thermodynamics. And we all know about refrigerators/heat pumps. And we should all know they are operating at efficiencies over 100% (more heat energy out, than electricity in). And I know that the missing heat is drawn in from the surroundings (or in case of fridge, from it's insides)

But to me, it seems that we are (as for the general principle) able to extract more energy from the device + it's environment, that we put in, in specific cases. So it follows logically, that it should be theoretically possible to design other devices, that would work at the similar principle - "drawing" the surrounding energy in (in whatever way), and providing more of usable energy to it's users, that we need to put in. Heat is but one example (and maybe only one possible to apply practically - that I do not know).

It seems to me, that this paradox is never taught that way, and it kind of fixes all science-aware people on the "net-energy-surplus-device-cannot-be-done, according-to-the-thermodynamics" line of thought. It seems to be a glaring omission to me - well it CAN be done with heat pumps (and w/ the little help of our good old friend Sun, providing us with ~300K environment we live in). But in this case, heat energy is effectively drawn from low-temp region (=ground), and into high-temp region (=underfloor heating pipes ), and we ARE energy net-positive in the process - for all practical intents and purposes?
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:40 AM   #15
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I think I know a few tricks along those lines myself, and most who invoke the second law don't really understand it well enough - they're just "glib examinees on subjects they have no exact knowledge of" in general.

However, a heat pump (any that exist now) don't really get you there. Yes, in the ideal case, the hot side has all the heat from the input energy plus what the cold side got from the environment -which can be net a few times the input energy - but at such a low temperature drop to some other part of the environment you can't run a heat engine off it well enough to get your input electricity back. Were it perfect, you'd just break even with that technology.

However, the second law requires that the universe be truly linear and all things be random, so that Maxwell's demon requires more energy to just pick the hot ones from the cold ones than you'd get doing that in a Maxwellian (thermal) distribution of same.

However, the universe isn't always linear, and all distributions aren't Maxwellian at all scales.

I can point out two ways of taking advantage of this one, but should point out that they are both hard to understand and maybe it gets a little long for here, but should work in theory - and I mean all the existing accepted ones, as they don't explicitly deny anything that's actually in the second law.

One is very simple, and it mystified "scientists" when they first saw it (I wrote and straightened them out). Someone was making a thing for photonics, which was an array of tiny tungsten rods sticking out of a substrate on the nano scale - around the wavelengths of visible light. These have defects as etched, so they anneal them to fix that up. They noticed the thing giving off visible light at fairly low temperatures, way lower than most things would, and were mystified by that.

Well, any distribution has tails. Even fairly cold, there are some things in a system, even with the random equipartition of energy on average - that reach fairly high energy states. If you have a mechanism that can "extract" just those states, you get high quality energy out of low - in this case white light at only a few hundred degrees F, and the tails will repopulate via the random exchange mechanism that the second law says you can't beat - on average.

In this case, the "nonlinearity" was simply that the little tungsten rods were actually dipole antennas tuned to "visible light", so they radiated extra efficiently from any states at the far right of the tail of the distribution - not a diode like nonlinearity, but a selection process none the less. These idiot specialists didn't realize they'd made an efficient tuned array antenna (even though that was kind of what they were trying to do along another axis) - light is just another radio wave after all. I see this all the time, where there's just so much specialization that people don't realize they are seeing something well known in another specialty. In theory, something like that could change at least some low quality energy into higher quality from which you could run a heat engine and get gain - taking heat from the environment (there's still no free).

And here's another of my own invention, based on Brownian motion. Due to chance, sometimes a bunch of atoms in say, a liquid, all get going the same way, and when they hit a macroscopic particle, impart macroscopic motion to it. This is well known, and another thing that "selects" from the tails of an otherwise random distribution.

Now, imagine those particles were tiny magnets. We wind coils around the cell in all three axes to capture electricity from the magnet motion no matter how it moves, one cell per magnet (so you need chip techology to make huge arrays of these). We rectify the signal from each coil with a perfect diode (theoretically possible but we're only close so far, and that's the limit of the approach) so we can sum the electricity, otherwise random-phase noise - from all the cells, and have a battery. It just keeps getting colder as we take energy from it. In the limit, if you could do this well enough, it would get cold enough to liquefy air, and energy would bring itself to you as the liquid air dripped off the thing. Or you could hang it in the ocean, say.

Right now, with stuff I can get now, this only works decently at medium hot temperatures, at which solid state diodes have a hard time staying alive. But we keep improving that one in all directions, the limits aren't here yet.

And I even know a guy with some input to a semi-fab. But I don't have to dough to pay for a run to test it....it would never be huge power from a small size, understand, but it would be very useful in things like space probes and far better than the thermocouples in radioactive junk for powering things like that on a small scale, and with a whole ocean to draw from, might even be home power for some someday.

And it doesn't break the laws at all - just found a loophole in the oversimplified statements thereof. The thing is - there's just not all that much energy to get out of a gram of warm water...
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:26 AM   #16
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Good man, DCFusor, that is quite fascinating stuff you write about!

Talking about energy quality & heat pumps: that is a bummer, indeed, but could we imagine "staging" few heat pumps in series (each using different working fluid/gas, and fine tuned to a different temperature working point), so each stage consumes some electricity + lower stage heat pump's heat output - so eventually we'd reach some useful temperatures, and possibly, still be net energy plus? But I think in this case problem is, that we are getting in environment energy only in the first stage, and each upper stage would only have previous-stage's output + it's own energy input (=wall plug) to consume, so the only net gain would be happening at the lowest stage, and the other stages would be only "distilling" the heat, so to speak, into a higher quality (=higher temp) - and inevitably, doing so at a loss. Is that correct thinking?

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Old 02-27-2012, 11:33 AM   #17
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DCFusor, your writing is dense but very valuable.

We have a de-bunker of junk science here!

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Old 02-27-2012, 01:46 PM   #18
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Dense, agreed - I really try to compress it, else it would be so long it'd take the years to read it it took me to learn the stuff in the first place. It's been my hobby all along to try and learn and keep up with all real, hard, science (the stuff you can hang a number on and get repeatable results from). For the last decade or so it's been pretty depressing, as most of the "inventions" now made were also made in the '50s or '60s and people just don't know it's been done already - poor communication and too lazy to know the history.

And for the last 30-40 years, most of the writing has been bafflegab to impress someone with the jargon, rather than trying to really explain what's going on, because if you realized how unremarkable it mostly was, you wouldn't fund it.
Very high hype to content ratio. If a tiny fraction of these "this will safe the world, if" inventions ever really came true, after all, the world would have been saved long since.

I don't think you can ever get there with the heat pumps, but I'd have to do the boring run the numbers thing again. Some of the heat is lost in things other than the radiator. It's a thing that does follow the "law of averages" of the second law - there is no non linear or selection process involved I know of. Since changing a temperature drop back into electricity has a limit on efficiency that depends on the drop, but is never 100% - I think you're hosed trying that. I believe you run into the sort of thing where one has a different exponent than the other so trying to scale it up it just gets worse and worse. Kind of like the volume to surface area ratio versus scale, which is the reason nothing small can afford to be warm blooded - can't make enough heat in the small volume (goes as size cubed) to compensate for the surface area (goes as size squared). So with increasing size, volume goes up much quicker and you've got enough stuff to make the heat to compensate the loss, in an animal. Thus only large things can be warm blooded and eat and burn fast enough to stay warm.
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:45 PM   #19
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Thank You for the reality check DCF !
Your words are salutary.

I so badly want there to be a hole in the 2nd law .....
every time i read about anomalous behaviour in our reality and someone thinks there 'might be something', im filled with hope
Ive seen what John Bedini does with an anomalous spike in his circuits and similar ideas for the dissociation of water molecules to HHO and get all excited but they all, so far, fall short ....

I am that dreamer who would be parted from his shiny, if i were invited to a posh testing lab by Rossi and fed enough garbage.


And respect to you for going 'open source' with your work.
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:51 PM   #20
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Well, me too, but a life of hard reality - and the situation where I have no excuse not to test this stuff myself, well, there's not many holes in things. I did just give two in the second law (at least as most misunderstand it when they're telling you "no way").

The key is finding a selection process or nonlinearity that requires no energy of its own to operate, like the tuned antennas or a perfect diode....then you can skim the tails off the distribution the second law (and statistics) creates on just about everything. Not wonderful high power density, but frankly - the fact that it's there at all and acts like Maxwell's demon should be front page news, but isn't. It gets shouted down by people with only high-school physics and not even looked into for what it is.

The fact that this can exist at all only seems to be acknowledged in cosmology, where a big fat nonlinearity exists - the even horizon of black holes. You'd think that this would be the opening wedge for more thinking about similar things - after all, a singularity in space-time (relativity) is by far not the most common or easiest selection system possible, by far.
But without it there wouldn't be Steven Hawking's Swarzchild radiation and he wouldn't be famous.

I've got a very fat book, full of heavy math on thermodynamics, in half of which the author goes on and on about how this is all impossible and things like non Maxwellian distributions can't exist and so on and on, and everything is truly random (mostly true at large enough time and space scales) - and then goes on to describe lasers, which can't happen without a large population inversion of energy states first. Go figure. Humans seem to be pretty good at holding conflicting ideas in their heads and never seeking resolution if it'd be some work to do, is all I can guess.

Isaac Asimov wrote a cool detective story about a guy who made a Maxwell's demon for gas and killed people by replacing a window in their room with it...I forget the title, but it was good fun, and reasonably plausible. He thought up a molecule of rings that weren't attached all the way around that acted like flap-doors, or one way valves, and only hot air molecules could push the flap open...I think it doesn't work out re the numbers balance for most ways you could do that (takes 5 or more carbons to make a ring and that's getting heavy) but...interesting other concept.

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