The Second Law of Thermodynamics: Pre-Einsteinian Malignancy

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Nov 13, 2021, 7:00:26 AMNov 13
Scientists are mesmerized by the floating water bridge

but try not to think of the violent water flows

which can convert ambient heat (no other usable source of energy) into work, e.g. by rotating waterwheels, in violation of the second law of thermodynamics.

Water in an electric field automatically becomes a perpetual-motion machine of the second kind - this particular violation of the second law was noticed and immediately forgotten in 2002:

"A deviation from the second law of thermodynamics has been demonstrated experimentally for the first time. [...] To test the idea, the researchers put about 100 latex beads - each 6.3 µm across - into a WATER-FILLED CELL, which was placed on the stage of a microscope. The researchers focused a laser onto one of the beads, which induced a dipole moment in the bead and drew it towards the most intense region of the ELECTRIC FIELD in the laser beam."

Nature: "Second law broken. Researchers have shown for the first time that, on the level of thousands of atoms and molecules, fleeting energy increases violate the second law of thermodynamics. [...] They found that over periods of time less than two seconds, variations in the random thermal motion of water molecules occasionally gave individual beads a kick. This increased the beads' kinetic energy by a small but significant amount, in apparent violation of the second law."

Scientific American: "Second Law of Thermodynamics Violated. [...] ...the water molecules interacted with the bead in such a way that energy was transferred from the liquid to the bead. These additional kicks used the random thermal motion of the water to do the work of moving the bead, in effect yielding something for nothing. For periods of movement lasting less than two seconds, the bead was almost as likely to gain energy from the water as it was to add energy to the reservoir, the investigators say."

George Orwell: "Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity."

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Pentcho Valev

Nov 13, 2021, 2:50:25 PMNov 13
The metastases of Einstein's 1905 constant-speed-of-light malignancy definitively killed physics, but this branch of science was already in agony in 1905, overwhelmed by the metastases of another malignancy: the second law of thermodynamics. An instructive review here:

Clifford Truesdell, The Tragicomical History of Thermodynamics, 1822-1854, p. 6: "Finally, I confess to a heartfelt hope - very slender but tough - that even some thermodynamicists of the old tribe will study this book, master the contents, and so share in my discovery: Thermodynamics need never have been the DISMAL SWAMP OF OBSCURITY that from the first it was and that today in common instruction it is; in consequence, it need not so remain." [...] p. 333: "Clausius' verbal statement of the "Second Law" makes no sense, for "some other change connected therewith" introduces two new and unexplained concepts: "other change" and "connection" of changes. Neither of these finds any place in Clausius' formal structure. All that remains is a Mosaic prohibition. A century of philosophers and journalists have acclaimed this commandment; a century of mathematicians have shuddered and averted their eyes from the unclean."

Jos Uffink, Bluff your way in the Second Law of Thermodynamics: "I therefore argue for the view that THE SECOND LAW HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ARROW OF TIME. [...] Before one can claim that acquaintance with the Second Law is as indispensable to a cultural education as Macbeth or Hamlet, it should obviously be clear what this law states. This question is surprisingly difficult. The Second Law made its appearance in physics around 1850, but a half century later it was already surrounded by so much confusion that the British Association for the Advancement of Science decided to appoint a special committee with the task of providing clarity about the meaning of this law. However, its final report (Bryan 1891) did not settle the issue. Half a century later, the physicist/philosopher Bridgman still complained that there are almost as many formulations of the second law as there have been discussions of it. And EVEN TODAY, THE SECOND LAW REMAINS SO OBSCURE that it continues to attract new efforts at clarification."

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Pentcho Valev
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