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Physics Professor at University of San Diego thinks Second Law of Thermodynamics has a loophole
Jack Sarfatti Blog
Published: 02 August 2012
22 hours ago
SSE Talks - Challenges to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics - Daniel Sheehan
SSE Talks - Challenges to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics - Daniel Sheehan
Over the last 15 years the absolute status of the second law of thermodynamics has .
@JackSarfatti on Twitter
There is a creative tension between nonlocal entanglement signaling and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Therefore, chinks in the armor of the Second Law formulations from the mid-19th Century are of extreme interest for practical as well as theoretical reasons.
Dan Sheehan wrote in Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 22, No. 4, pp. 459–480, 2008 0892-3310/08
"Energy makes the world go round—physically, chemically, thermodynamically, industrially, economically, geopolitically. Current global consumption stands at roughly 1.5 x 10^13 Watts, equivalent to the output of about fifteen thousand large nuclear power plants, or comparable to detonating a WWII-style atomic bomb every five seconds. This figure is expected to grow 50% in the next 20 years. About 20% of the world economy is devoted to the discovery and extraction of fuels, and to the generation, distribution, and consumption of energy. Economies are defined by it; wars are fought over it; nations rise and fall by it.
Presently, energy is derived primarily from non-renewable oil, natural gas, coal, and uranium, and to a lesser degree from renewable hydroelectricity, solar, wind and biofuels. The burning of fossil fuels is implicated in environmental pollution, global warming, climate change, and the degradation of the biosphere, all of which are expected to worsen in coming decades . Recently, the tightening of global energy supplies has been linked to food shortages, affecting hundreds of millions of humans worldwide.
In fact, we are surrounded by a virtually limitless reservoir of energy: thermal energy. The total thermal energy content of the Earth’s atmosphere is about 10^24J; the oceans’ capacity is 500 times greater, and the Earth’s crust holds an order of magnitude still more. At civilization’s current rate of use, it would take millions of years to expend this amount, and even then, it is being replenished by solar radiation and the decay of radionuclides in the crust orders of magnitude faster than humanity could deplete it; in other words, the amount of thermal energy is effectively limitless. In magnitude, all the energy we could ever use already surrounds us; in form, however, it is largely beyond our reach – like a mirage in the desert – because of what is perhaps the most depressing law of nature: the second law of thermodynamics.
The second law has been called ‘‘the supreme law of nature’’ . It governs our lives from the moments of our conception until our deaths; nearly every system in the universe, from an atomic nucleus to a galactic supercluster, is subject to it; the cosmos itself lives – and will eventually die – by it. Even the direction that time progresses, from past to present to future, has been attributed to it [6–9]. Among physical laws, arguably none is better tested than the second law. It has been verified in countless experiments for more than 150 years. Most scientists consider its universality beyond reproach; even to question it invites ridicule and ruin. Nonetheless, over the last 10–15 years, the second law has come under unprecedented scrutiny. More than 60 mainstream journal articles, monographs and conference proceedings have raised dozens of theoretical and experimentally-testable challenges to its universal status – more than the sum total during its previous 150-year history. From a Kuhnian perspective this suggests a paradigm shift might be on the horizon .
Given its central importance to the sciences, engineering and technology, in view of these recent theoretical developments, and in light of the current dilemmas facing world energy and environmental policies, it is timely to look ahead to possible changes that might result from second law violation. This paper briefly reviews recent second law challenges, and examines in detail one for which laboratory experiments are currently being mounted. Possible economic, geopolitical and environmental outcomes of second law violation are considered."
Experimental Measurements of Electric Fields in Diodic Vacuum Gaps: Toward a Second Law Challenge
D.P. Sheehan and J.H. Wright†
Department of Physics, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA
†Department of Mathematics and Computer Science,University of San Diego, San Diego, CA
Abstract. Over the last ten years, the researchers at USD have investigated a series of challenges to the second law of thermodynamics that involve the exploitation of intense vacuum electric fields generated by solid-state diodic contacts [1, 2, 3]. Although theoretical arguments and numerical simulations supported the existence of these fields, experimental verification had been lacking. This article reviews the theoretical basis for these diodic electric fields and details recent laboratory experiments that have verified their location, intensity, and rechargability.
Keywords: second law of thermodynamics, nonequilibrium, Maxwell’s demon, solid state physics, semiconductors, MEMS, NEMS
PACS: 05.70.-a, 05.70.Ln, 85.85.+j
The experiments described here were not intended to test the second law per se; rather, they were designed to investigate the predicted electric fields upon which this class of second law challenges depend. The dynamic cantilevers were essentially carried through their work cycle; however, the cantilevers were too stiff and their mechanical time
constants too ill-matched to the system’s electrical time constant for electromechanical resonance to be achieved. Also, the gap surfaces were contaminated and not constructed for effective contact, discharge, and long-term wear. It is also doubtful whether the mechanical quality factors were sufficient for sustaining oscillation.
Next generation test chips have been designed to overcome these shortcomings, and are currently awaiting fabrication. As before, these solid-state oscillators will rely solely
on diodic electric fields for power. They will operate in high vacuum so as to minimize oxidation and surface contamination. Electrostatic pressures are expected to a factor of 10 times larger than in the present experiments, and their Qs are predicted to be sufficient for sustained oscillation. Standard double-cantilevers as well as new proprietary oscillator designs will be incorporated into the new chips, along with an adjustable resistor bank so as to permit tuning of the electrical RC time constant of the circuit. The cantilever springs will operate in the multi-kHz range. Diagnosis will be accomplished by laser reflection and transmission. Sustained electromechanical oscillations that generate any sort of coherent energy, e.g., sound or vibration, would constitute a de facto violation of the second law."
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