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Viewings: 6016In the classic novel by Isaac Asimov "the gods Themselves" unknown chemist accidentally encounters in 2070, the greatest discovery of all times - the electronic pump, which lets get unlimited energy. Its opening has on human life immediate and profound effect. Author announce the greatest scientist of all time - because he was able to satisfy his constant thirst for energy, which owns our civilization. "He was in the eyes of the world Santa Claus in half with a lamp of Aladdin", - wrote Azimov. Organized by him, the company immediately out of the market for oil, gas, coal and nuclear, and soon became one of the richest corporations in the world.
The world is awash in free energy and gets drunk with newfound power. In General the holiday hubbub drowning alarming issue lonely physics, addressed to himself: "Where does all this free energy?" After some time, he manages to find the answer and to reveal the secret. It turns out that the price of free energy terrible. Energy comes to us through a hole in space that connects our Universe from a parallel universe, an unexpected flow of energy in our Universe was to trigger a chain reaction that will eventually destroy the stars and galaxies, will turn the Sun into a supernova, and destroy the Earth,
Since time immemorial, the Holy Grail of all inventors, scientists, and charlatans and swindlers of the Earth was a fairytale "perpetual motion" - a device capable to work indefinitely without any power consumption. Even better, of course, if this device is capable of producing more energy than it consumes, as does the Asimov electronic pump, producing free energy in unlimited quantities.
In the near future, when in our industrialized world will gradually end of cheap oil, there is an urgent need to find a sufficient number of new sources of clean energy, the Rapid rise in gasoline prices, falling production, environmental pollution and other factors fueling revived recently active interest in the energy sector.
Today, some of inventors, riding this wave, again promising energy for free and in unlimited quantities and offers to sell his invention to hundreds of millions. Dozens of investors periodically become in turn, attracted sensational headlines financial media, which is often touted these rogues and announce their new Edisonapi.
The idea of the perpetual motion extremely popular. In one episode of the Simpsons Lisa during the strike of the teachers build their own eternal engine. Homer, having learned of this, strictly demurs: "Lisa, listen here... in this house, all subject to the laws of thermodynamics!"
In the subjects of computer games such as the Sims, Xenosaga I & II Ultima IV, as well as in the animated series "Invader ZIM" perpetual motion also has an important role.
But if the energy is so valuable, is it possible to realistically assess our chances of creating Perpetuum mobile? Whether such devices is impossible or it is possible to assume, that for them of a need to revise the laws of physics?
The story in the mirror of energy
Any civilization vital energy. Moreover, the entire history of mankind, in principle, can be seen as the history of energy. For 99.9% of the time of existence of mankind primitive community led a nomadic life, struggling livelihood by hunting and gathering. Human life was brutal and short. Of energy him dostupna was one fifth horsepower - the power of his muscles. The study of skeletal remains of our ancestors says that man in those days, in order to survive, had to withstand great pressure. The average life expectancy was less than 20 years.
But about 10,000 years ago, after the end of the last ice age, people discovered agriculture and domesticated animals, primarily the horse. Gradually available to man the energy has grown to be one or two horsepower. This led to the first great revolution in human history. Draught animal-horse or ox - gave man enough power to get alone to plow a field, to drive in a day than a dozen miles to transport from place to place several hundred pounds of rocks or grain. For the first time in history people have an excess of energy - and the result was the first city. The excess energy meant that the public is able to feed a whole class specialists: handicraftsmen, architects, builders and scribes. Bloomed ancient civilizations. In the jungle and desert rose to the sky the great pyramids, appeared Empire. Average life expectancy has reached about 30 years.
About 300 years ago there was a second great revolution in human history - came to help him pairs. With the advent of steam engines the level of energy that is available to one person, jumped to tens of horsepower. The help of the power of steam and forcing him to turn wheels, people could now several days to cross a continent. Machine cut a huge field and was carrying hundreds of passengers to thousands of kilometers; machines have allowed us to build a huge city of high-rise buildings. By 1900, the life expectancy in the United States almost reached 50 years.
Today we can observe around a third of the great revolution in human history and information. Explosive population growth, the insatiable thirst of electricity and energy has led to the fact that our energy demand jumped to heaven, and its sources close to depletion. The energy available to an individual, is now measured in thousands of horsepower. It seems natural that only one car can develop the capacity corresponding to hundreds of horsepower. Not surprisingly, the growing need for energy stirs interest in alternative and its inexhaustible sources, including perpetual motion.
Perpetuum mobile in history
Quest for the eternal engine people did in ancient times. The first official attempt to erect this miracle of technology took place in Bavaria in the VIII century Invented then the machine turned over the next Millennium, the prototype for countless variants. The basis of the design was the wheel hanging on it a small magnets, reminiscent of booths on the Ferris wheel. The wheel was placed over lying on the floor much more powerful magnet. It was assumed that when the wheel spins, each magnet is first attracted to a still a big magnet, then build on it, causing the wheel to spin, creating a perpetual motion.
Another clever scheme was invented in 1150, in India. Philosopher Bhaskara proposed to make a wheel, which was supposed to revolve forever. It was assumed that hung to the rim for more unbalanced loads will continuously spin the wheel Falling cargo will work and turn the wheel, and then return to your seat. Endlessly repeating this cycle, argued Bhaskara, you can cause the wheel to work indefinitely.
Bavarian scheme and the scheme of Bhaskara as other projects of Perpetuum mobile, similar in many ways; all have a wheel, capable without application of energy to make one revolution and producing this kind of useful work. (A careful study of these sophisticated machines, as a rule, shows that in fact in each cycle there is loss of energy.)
The Renaissance spurred efforts of inventors and multiplied the number of proposed projects. In 1635, was granted the first patent on the Perpetuum mobile. In 1712 Johann Bessler, having studied pre-about 300 schemes, proposed its own model. (According to legend, his servant later exposed his machine as a clever fraud.) The perpetual motion was interested in even a great artist and scientist of the Renaissance Leonardo da Vinci. In humans, he illustrated the projects of Perpetuum mobile, comparing the attempts of its creation, search of the philosopher stone, and secretly drew in a notebook complex schemes automotive vehicles, such as centrifugal pump, samokritika spit.
C, was proposed as all sorts of options that the Royal Academy of Sciences in Paris decided not to accept more and not to consider the proposal relating to the eternal movement".
Historian Arthur OSA-Hume, studying the projects of Perpetuum mobile, wrote about the fanatical devotion inventors your idea about their incredible tenacity and compared them with the ancient alchemists. But, he said, "even the alchemist... knew when to admit defeat".
Jokes and hoaxes
Incentives to invent a Perpetuum mobile were so strong that fraud and deception in this issue became commonplace. In 1813, Charles Redheffer demonstrated in new York city car, which, to the surprise of the audience, made a gratuitous energy in unlimited quantities. (But Robert Fulton, having examined the car, found hidden a belt drive, with which the machine was set in motion. The transfer went to the attic where the hidden man twisted gate.)
Scientists and engineers too, happened to become the victim of enthusiasm. In 1870 the editors of Scientific American had also been deceived eternal engine, which has built a E. Willis. The magazine printed an article under the CEnationum the title "the Greatest discovery in the history of mankind". Only later was able to detect that the machine Willis was also a hidden source of energy.
In 1872 a John Ernst Worrell Kelly has pulled off the most sensational and the best Scam of his time; he robbed investors of 5 million. - huge at that time. His eternal engine consisted of tuning forks that resonated and, according to the author, kept in touch with the "ether". From there the car and drew as if your energy. Kelly had no scientific experience; usually he was invited potential investors to his home, and smote them with his hidropneumatica-pulse jet engine, which hummed and around without any external energy sources. Investors, amazed by the view of self-propelled cars, rushed to replenish their money the Treasury of the inventor.
Later some of those disappointed investors were accused Kelly fraud; he even spent some time in prison, that did not prevent him die a rich man. After the death of the inventor investors opened a clever secret of his car. When the house Kelly took apart brick by brick, walls and floors were discovered pipe through which to a machine from a cellar secretly fed compressed air.
Even the Navy and U.S. President fell once a victim of such deception. In 1881 John Gamgee's case his invented a machine for liquid ammonia. The evaporation of the cold ammonia was to cause the expansion of gases and the movement of the piston, and thus the machine at the expense of much - heat of the earth's oceans. Sailors had taken the idea to get unlimited energy from the ocean that they approved the design of the machine and showed a sample of President James Garfield. The only problem was that the ammonia would not properly condense and turn back into a liquid so the cycle could not close.
The Bureau of patents and trade marks of the USA have always received a lot of projects of Perpetuum mobile, refused to grant patents until presents the current model of the machine. Sometimes in very rare cases when experts fail to detect in machine presents no defect, patent still issued. In the rules of the Bureau, said, "except in those cases when we are talking about eternal movement, the Bureau does not require mandatory reporting model to demonstrate devices. (Unfair inventors sometimes use this loophole to show the naive investors that the Patent office recognizes, perpetual motion machines; in this case, the investors are more willing to Finance such invention.)
However, from a scientific point of view search of perpetual motion were not absolutely sterile. On the contrary, although no one inventor failed to present to the world the eternal engine, the relentless pursuit of this fabulous device - hard to imagine how much time and energy was spent on it, helped physicists to study thoroughly the nature of heat engines. (Just as fruitless searches of a philosophical stone, capable to turn lead into gold, helped to open some fundamental laws of chemistry.)
For example, in the 1760's. John Cox invented the clock that actually able to work forever, receiving energy from changes in atmospheric pressure. These changes catches the barometer, which then transfer the energy of the rotation time of the arrows. These watches is quite serviceable; such models exist today. They can go on forever, as they receive energy from the outside in the form of changes in atmospheric pressure.
Eternal engines clock-like Coke, eventually led scientists to believe that the car-any machine can run forever only if receives energy from the outside; this will mean that the total energy is conserved. This theory originates first law of thermodynamics; it is that the combination of matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Later were installed three laws of thermodynamics. The second law States that the total entropy (disorder) is always increasing. (Roughly speaking, this law States that heat can spontaneously only be transferred from the hotter objects to colder.) The third law States that to achieve absolute zero is impossible.
If you compare the Universe with the game, and the goal of the game to announce energy recovery, the three laws of thermodynamics can be formulated as follows:
"It is impossible to get something out of nothing" (the first law).
"It is impossible to divide fifty-fifty" (the second law).
"It is impossible to leave the game" (third law).
(Physics very careful; they claim that these laws are not necessarily true in all circumstances. However, any deviations from them are still not discovered. Anyone who wants to refute these laws have to be against several centuries of careful scientific observations and experiments. We will discuss the possible deviation from these laws.)
Three laws of thermodynamics, like many of the highest achievements of science of the nineteenth century, marked not only the triumph of victory, but also a human tragedy. The great German physicist Ludwig Boltzmann, who played a significant role in formulating these laws, committed suicide partly because of the contradictions that arose in connection with their appearance.
Ludwig Boltzmann and entropy
Boltzmann was low husky with a barrel chest and a huge tangled beard. However, for an impressive and even intimidating appearance was hiding vulnerable soul; and the Russian Academy of Sciences, protecting scientific ideas, he had to get a lot. Although the XIX century, the principles of Newtonian physics is already firmly established in science, Boltzmann understood that no one tried to apply the known laws contradictory to the concept of the atomic structure of matter - concept, which was then taken not all leading scientists. (We sometimes forget that just a hundred years ago many scientists stubbornly believed that atoms were not the real object, but just a cunning trick. Atoms are so small, they argued that, they probably don't exist.)
Newton showed that the motion of all objects define mechanical strength, not spirits and not the desires of the people. Boltzmann used this and elegantly brought many laws for gases with a simple assumption: he believed that gases consist of tiny atoms that move like billiard balls and subject numonova laws forces. For the Boltzmann room, filled with gas, was like a box with trillions of tiny steel balls, each of which is probably one of the sides and from the other balls according numonova laws of motion. Boltzmann (and independent of the James Clerk Maxwell) made the greatest scientific breakthrough, when mathematically demonstrated how this simple assumptions, you can display a striking new laws. Thus, he has initiated a new direction in physics and statistical mechanics.
Suddenly it turned out that with a few basic principles can explain many properties of the matter. Because Newton's laws required that energy has been preserved even in the Annex to atoms, each collision between atoms should happen with the conservation of the total energy; this, in turn, meant that for gas in the bathroom, with all all of its trillions of atoms, energy were also preserved. It turned out that the law of conservation of energy is now possible not only to obtain experimentally, but theoretically deduced from the basic principles of Newtonian motion of atoms.
But in the XIX century, the very existence of atoms was still in doubt; even prominent scientists (for example, the philosopher Ernst Mach) did not consider it shameful to challenge and often even ridicule the theory of the atomic structure of matter. Boltzmann, people vulnerable and prone to depression, suddenly found yourself such common lightning rod, the main target for attacks, often very angry, all opponents of the atomic theory. For them all, that it is impossible to measure, including atoms simply did not exist. Humiliation Boltzmann added that the editor of a prominent German physical log rejected many of his articles; this editor insisted that atoms and molecules are rather extremely convenient theoretical tool than the real, existing in nature objects.
Unable to withstand all these attacks, including purely personal, in 1906 Boltzmann committed suicide by selecting the time when his wife and child were at the sea. Very sad that this great man did not understand that a year ago cocky young physicist by the name of albert Einstein did the impossible: he wrote the first article, clearly proving the existence of atoms.
The total entropy always increases
Proceedings of the Boltzmann and other physicists had helped to clarify the nature of the eternal engine and even to break all the existing schema in two types. Perpetual motion of the first type violates the first law of thermodynamics; this means that it simply produces more energy than it consumes. In any of such eternal engines physicists with careful study of physics was found hidden external energy sources. It could be as conscious fraud and error result of the inventor.
Perpetual motion of the second type - thing more complicated. In these machines is observed the first law of thermodynamics, i.e. saves energy, but violated the second law. Theoretically, in the eternal engine of the second type no heat loss, so it is 100%effective. But the second law of thermodynamics says that such a machine is impossible - heat loss must be, and the amount of disorder in the Universe, otherwise entropy always increases. What would be effective no matter machine, part of the heat certainly is lost, thereby increasing the entropy of the Universe.
The fact that the total entropy always increases, lies at the heart of human history, and mother nature identitythat is, In the essence of the second law tells us that breaking is much easier than to build. Sometimes that was created thousands of years, such as the great Empire of the Aztecs in Mexico, can be destroyed within a few months; that is exactly what happened when careworn gang Spanish conquistadors with horses and firearms has shaken the foundations of the Empire and completely destroyed the complex mechanism.
Noting the profound nature of the second law of thermodynamics, astronomer Arthur Eddington, once said: "I think that the law of entropy stands above other laws of nature.,, if you find that your new theory contradicts the second law of thermodynamics, abandon all hope; before this law can only humbly mouth".
Even today, enterprising engineers (and talented charlatans) continue from time to time to invent perpetual engine. Not so long ago the Wall Street Journal asked me to Express their opinion about the work of one inventor who has already managed to convince investors to invest in the invented a machine millions of dollars. In major financial Newspapers appeared enthusiastic article; journalists who knew nothing about science, with aspiration wrote that this invention can change the world (and, of course, bring along the way investors fabulous, incredible profit). "Genius or madman?" "screamed the headlines.
Investors joyfully rush to invest in a new car - and she, by the way, violate the basic laws of physics and chemistry, to study in high school. (Shocked me even not the fact that someone was trying to deceive the unwary and leave them with a nose for things people have done for centuries. Surprising how easily managed this inventor to deceive wealthy investors and how bad most people understand basic physics.) I replied to log into a proverb: "Fool easy to part with money" and a favorite aphorism of Phineas Barnum: "Every minute on Earth is born dupe." Probably should not be surprising that the Financial Times, the Economist and the Wall Street Journal amicably printed large editorials about different inventors and their wonderful eternal engines.
Three laws of thermodynamics and symmetry
But all this generates and deeper question: why should run these infallible laws of thermodynamics? This mystery was occupied by scientists from the moment when these laws were first formulated. It is not excluded that, knowing the answer to this question, we could look at the laws of thermodynamics loopholes and make exciting new discoveries and inventions that can turn the world.
In high school I was really shocked when they learned at last the true cause of conservation of energy. It turns out that one of the fundamental principles of physics (outdoor mathematician Emmy Noether in 1918) States: if the system has symmetry, it necessarily applies any conservation law. The assumption that the laws of the Universe does not change over time, it is a striking result: energy in the system must be maintained. (Further, if the laws of nature, remain unchanged, no matter what direction you're moving, it remains not only energy, but also the momentum in either direction. And if the laws of nature, remain unchanged during the rotation, then keep still and angular momentum.)
It literally blew me away. I suddenly realized that, in analysing star light reaching us from distant galaxies with the edge of the visible Universe, we see that the spectrum of this light does not differ from the spectra, which can be found on Earth. In the light, born in billions of years before the appearance and the earth, the Sun, we see the same undeniable spectral "fingerprints" of hydrogen, helium, carbon, neon, etc., that we see today and on Earth. In other words, the basic laws of physics has not changed for billions of years and is the same throughout the Universe, to most of its borders.
I realized that the Noether theorem means at least that energy is likely to persist if not forever, then no one billion years. As far as we currently know, none of the fundamental laws of physics with time has not changed, and therefore the law of conservation of energy works.
The Noether theorem for modern physics has the greatest value. Whatever new theory have physics and whatever was in it it is about the origin of the Universe, about the interactions of quarks and elementary particles, about antimatter, - we will begin with a consideration of symmetry, which is subordinated to the system. Generally speaking, at the present time symmetry is considered to be leading a fundamental principle in the development of any theory. In the past, on the symmetry looked upon as a side result of the theory is nice, but not a big deal. Today we understand that symmetry is very important and even essential feature of any theory. Developing something new, we physicists begin with symmetry, and then build around her theory.
(Sadly, the Emmy Noether, as it was before the Boltzmann, had to fight for recognition for life and death. None of the leading institutions was not ready to take a permanent job woman-mathematician. The mentor of the Noether, the great mathematician David Hilbert, enraged another unsuccessful attempt to arrange the Noether for a teaching position, he exclaimed: "In the end, we who, University or society of Amateurs of bath?")
This raises a disturbing question. If energy is saved only because the laws of physics do not change over time, can't be that in some unusual, rare circumstances, this symmetry is still broken? If unexpected and exotic places symmetry of our laws is really broken, and the law of conservation of energy on a cosmic scale can be broken.
This situation may arise, in particular, if the laws of physics change in time or distance. (In the novel, Asimov "the gods Themselves" symmetry is broken because of the spatial hole, connecting our Universe from a parallel universe. Around this hole the laws of physics change - and there is the possibility of violations of the laws of thermodynamics. Likewise, if there are spatial holes, i.e., wormholes, may violate the law of conservation of energy.)
In addition, currently hotly debated the question of whether the energy to appear out of nothing; this time, too, can be a convenient loophole.
Energy from the vacuum?
Here's a painful question: is it possible to extract energy from the vacuum? Physics only recently realized that actually the "emptiness" of the vacuum is not empty, it lasts inexhaustible activity.
One of the active supporters and promoters of this idea was an eccentric genius of the twentieth century Nikola Tesla - a worthy rival Thomas Edison. In addition, he was one of the supporters of the "energy from the vacuum", i.e. the idea that the vacuum can contain an incredible amount of energy. If true, the vacuum will become the embodiment of "free lunch" - "the magic pot", able to extract the energy in any quantities literally out of nowhere. The vacuum that were considered empty and devoid of any substance will be a bottomless well of energy.
Tesla was born in a small town in Serbia and in 1884 he entered the United States without a single penny in his pocket. Soon he became assistant to Thomas Edison's assistant is so brilliant that turned into a contender. The confrontation of these two celebrities historians dubbed the "war of currents". Edison believed that the world can electrify using DC machines, while Tesla was the first to introduce alternating current and successfully demonstrated that his methods are much more effective methods of Edison and allow for lower losses in transmission of electricity at a greater distance. Today almost the entire planet is supplied with electricity on the basis of patents, not Edison.
Just the Tesla there are more than 700 inventions and patents, some of which are the most important historic landmarks of modern electricity. Historians believe it is likely that Tesla invented the radio earlier than it did Guglielmo Marconi, is officially recognised by the inventor of the radio, and worked with x-rays before their official opening by Wilhelm Roentgen. (And Marconi, and X-rays were later awarded the Nobel prize for the invention, which Tesla, probably made a few years earlier.)
Tesla also considered that can be extracted from the vacuum energy in unlimited quantities, but, unfortunately, has not resulted in his notes the evidence for this claim. At first glance it seems that the "power vacuum" (or energy that is contained in a vacuum) violates the first law of thermodynamics. There is no doubt that the vacuum energy violates the laws of Newtonian mechanics, but recently it appeared again on the scientific horizon, but with a completely new direction.
After analyzing data from the satellites that are currently in orbit, in particular with the WMAP satellite, scientists have come to a startling conclusion: no less than 73% of the Universe consists of dark energy - the energy of pure vacuum. This means that the vacuum separating the galaxy, is simultaneously the greatest reservoir of energy of the Universe. (This dark energy is so enormous that pushes galaxies away from each other and may eventually tear the Universe apart.)
Dark energy fills the Universe, to all areas, including our homes and our bodies too. The amount of dark energy in the cosmos is truly astronomichna and exceeds the energy of all the stars and galaxies together. You can also calculate the amount of dark energy on the Earth; it will appear that it is very little-too little to fuel the eternal engine. Tesla was right: dark energy exists; however, in relation to the number of such energy on Earth he was wrong.
And can be, no?<br />
One of the most unpleasant spaces in modern physics is that no one can theoretically calculate the amount of dark energy that we measure with the help of satellites. If calculation of the modern atomic physics, then the resulting number will go with the experimental result by 120 orders of magnitude! This is a unit with 120 zeros! Without a doubt, this is the most significant discrepancy between theory and experiment in the entire history of physics.
The point is that nobody knows how to calculate the "energy of the vacuum." This is one of the most important problems of physics (because with time the answer will determine the fate of the Universe!), but while we can not imagine how it is possible to calculate the amount of this energy. None of the theories can explain dark energy, although experimental evidence of its existence is obvious.
So, in a vacuum really is charged with energy, as suspected Tesla. But the density of this energy most likely too small, so it can be retrieved and used. In a huge intergalactic spaces full of dark energy, but on the Earth it fits only slightly. But the most unpleasant thing that no one knows where this energy and how you can calculate the amount.
I am convinced that the law of conservation of energy is due to the deep cosmological reasons. Any violation of this law will certainly would mean serious changes in our views on the evolution of the Universe. And the mystery of dark energy makes physicists to take new and new attempts to solve this issue.
Since the creation of this perpetual motion may require a revision of the fundamental laws of physics at cosmological level, I am inclined to attribute the eternal engine III class impossibility; this means, in my opinion, that any such engine is really impossible, or we will have to revise our understanding of fundamental physics in cosmological terms - only in this case such a machine can obtain the right to exist. As for dark energy, it remains one of the greatest unfinished chapters of modern science.
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