# Something from nothing

• Solar Expert Posts: 396 ✭✭✭
Re: Something from nothing

http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/museum/unwork.htm
Production of useful work is limited by the laws of thermodynamics, but the production of useless work seems to be unlimited.
—Donald Simanek
• Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
Re: Something from nothing
nsaspook wrote: »

On a very serious note, I've been wondering if the Moderators might consider renaming this whole long, winding thread, to something like perhaps "Beating the dead horse".
Only thing is, the "horse" was never alive in the first place.
• Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
Re: Something from nothing
On a very serious note, I've been wondering if the Moderators might consider renaming this whole long, winding thread, to something like perhaps "Beating the dead horse".

sorry, but the title will stand.

Only thing is, the "horse" was never alive in the first place.:D

duh, it wouldn't be beating a dead horse if it were alive.

my comments in bold above. i don't have too much to say except a dead horse does not have to have a requirement of ever having been alive. this reminds me of something long ago when somebody asked me if a farmer starts out with 10 cows and 3 of them die then how many cows does he have? the proper answer is 10 cows as it was never specified in the question as to how many were left alive.
• Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
Re: Something from nothing

Hahahaha Niel
• Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
Re: Something from nothing

glad you liked that. i almost wrote how many cows do i have and that proper answer would've been 0. (that would've been another trick question) i kept the original line of thinking though to make my point that just because they're dead does not mean they aren't cows or horses.
• Solar Expert Posts: 407 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
Re: Something from nothing

So tell me,
Wayne, Spook and niel,

It has been calculated that the Earth has a negative charge and a voltage potential can be measured in the atmosphere that increases with altitude at 100 V/m. This is the energy field which Tesla and Thomas Henry Moray believed they could tap into. Both systems have been catagorized as "Free Energy" myths.

Are you willing to state in a difinitive manner that you do not believe that science will ever find a way for us to tap into the Earth's magnetic field as a useful energy source?

Alex
• Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
Re: Something from nothing

Well Alex, scientists tell us that the earth's magnetic field is of late, weakening quite quickly in geologic time, and may very well be on the way to complete reversal of the poles. Thus it may well be time to get those big coils constructed, positioned and connected. We'll only receive 1/2 cycle of power, so the coils had better be huge, especially with the field weakening so fast. I dare say if they get the coils constricted in time, and if they're big enough - - who knows what surprises may await some people.
• Solar Expert Posts: 407 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
Re: Something from nothing

Sorry Wayne,

The aerial generators designed by Tesla and Moray do not run directly off of the Earth's magnetic field.
They supposedly use the atmospheric voltage potential which is more of a static charge caused by friction of the atmosphere over the terrestrial electromagnetic fields - same thing that causes lightning.

I know I've been skipping around a lot but the subject of environmental energy fields and how we may harvest them covers a lot of territory. (pun intended) It is a vast subject with many mechanisms and new technologies which can profoundly effect the viability of new energy sources. - Any new technologies effecting transmission efficiency, computer simulation, magnetic field production or shielding, anything which may relate to a natural propensity for clockwise vs counter-clockwise rotation at any scale, improvement of almost any conversion efficiency...

That dead horse of yours can still be made into a lot of glue.:-)

Alex
• Solar Expert Posts: 814 ✭✭✭
Re: Something from nothing

Are you willing to state in a difinitive manner that you do not believe that science will ever find a way for us to tap into the Earth's magnetic field as a useful energy source? Im willing to state that if you are putting off buying a new battery for your vehicle,and intend to use the power the earths magnetic field to power the starter motor,I hope you are very fit as you may end up doing a lot of pushing.
• Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
Re: Something from nothing

Energy potential - efficiency losses = net energy available for work.
So how much potential energy in the magnetic field less how much loss in capturing it equals how much power available to do work?

With existing technology it is net zero.
• Solar Expert Posts: 396 ✭✭✭
Re: Something from nothing
So tell me,
Wayne, Spook and niel,

It has been calculated that the Earth has a negative charge and a voltage potential can be measured in the atmosphere that increases with altitude at 100 V/m. This is the energy field which Tesla and Thomas Henry Moray believed they could tap into. Both systems have been catagorized as "Free Energy" myths.

Are you willing to state in a difinitive manner that you do not believe that science will ever find a way for us to tap into the Earth's magnetic field as a useful energy source?

Alex

It's not that you can't extract power from the latent potential energy of the earths magnetic field or spin but that the possible energy density is so low that the effort to collect it is usually a million times what you can collect from it in a lifetime due the forces of friction, electrical resistance, etc .... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_density#Common_energy_densities The energy density of EM fields in nature on a human scale are just tiny when compared to chemical and atomic bonds.

I think the next big leap will be the development of cheap room temperature superconductors and electronic devices that operate and control energy at the quantum level on a macro scale. These types of devices might only require the picowatts that can be gathered from small coils or antennas. Sadly, IMO most of us won't be here to see it ever happen.
• Registered Users Posts: 22
Re: Something from nothing

so.......is this before or after, flying cars?
• Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
Re: Something from nothing
rbtrrer wrote: »
so.......is this before or after, flying cars?

hmmm, my car can fly, but it's the landings that are a b**** so i refrain from doing so.
• Solar Expert Posts: 396 ✭✭✭
Re: Something from nothing
rbtrrer wrote: »
so.......is this before or after, flying cars?

The Mag-Lev option might be popular in the RTS era.
http://amasci.com/maglev/maglev.html
• Solar Expert Posts: 407 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
Re: Something from nothing
niel wrote: »
hmmm, my car can fly, but it's the landings that are a b**** so i refrain from doing so.

Don't wory niel, your flying car will be able to do the driving for you.
• Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
Re: Something from nothing
Don't wory niel, your flying car will be able to do the driving for you.

Heard it all 60 years ago; still hasn't happened. We were going to have wires embedded in roads to guide cars, gyrocopters in every garage, et cetera. But we're still driving the way we did 100 years ago, more or less.
Just because something is technically possible doesn't mean it's practical - or desirable.

It's that practical application factor that's the bugabear for so many great ideas.
• Solar Expert Posts: 407 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
Re: Something from nothing
Heard it all 60 years ago; still hasn't happened. We were going to have wires embedded in roads to guide cars, gyrocopters in every garage, et cetera. But we're still driving the way we did 100 years ago, more or less.
Just because something is technically possible doesn't mean it's practical - or desirable.

It's that practical application factor that's the bugabear for so many great ideas.

Actually, coot, it is happening right now.
Google has been road testing self driving cars here in California (over 140,000 miles so far) with the only mishap being a fender bender which was the other driver's fault. No wires. I've also read somewhere they can be programed to drive more or less agressively and can choose their own route based on GPS roadmaps and reported trafic information.

Nevada has just officially approved testing on the public roadways with the caviat that there will be a human ready to take control at any moment.

Sorry, no naping and no, it cannot be your designated driver for a night on the town.

But alas, the flying cars are still a little ways off.

Alex
• Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
Re: Something from nothing

Ah yes; then eventually we will be able to replace the human brain for all critical functions like driving. :P

To redirect to solar, the biggest problem with that power source is the 18% efficient panels. Think how many more installs would be done if they were 90% efficient - for the same price.
Re: Something from nothing

But notice that this is a complete different system than has been tried/tested over the years involving buried wires/magnets/etc. which all involve a huge infrastructure change and was designed to work with similarly equipped cars (there is a video somewhere of this "train" of cars going down the road).

The Google Car is a masterpiece of technology--But it is a complete break from the other designed and even tested systems out there. It is just the logical continuation of "automation"--of replacing humans with computers and integration of cameras, navigation systems, etc...

If gathering significant energy from the air was going to be so easy, these "kites" setup as wind turbines could just, instead, could loft a grid of wires and ionizing radioactive sources (to local reduce the resistance of the air--also done for many applications) and draw the energy without the whole wind turbine aspect (remember the air has pretty high resistance, so it is "easy" to generate large voltage fields--but trying to draw current from that static field is going to be pretty much near impossible as, I would guess, it will simply collapse the local voltage field).

-Bill
Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
• Solar Expert Posts: 407 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
Re: Something from nothing
BB. wrote: »
If gathering significant energy from the air was going to be so easy, these "kites" setup as wind turbines could just, instead, could loft a grid of wires and ionizing radioactive sources (to local reduce the resistance of the air--also done for many applications) and draw the energy without the whole wind turbine aspect (remember the air has pretty high resistance, so it is "easy" to generate large voltage fields--but trying to draw current from that static field is going to be pretty much near impossible as, I would guess, it will simply collapse the local voltage field).

So the trick could be to pulse some sort of conductive beam (an ion beam?), possibly into the ionosphere to draw current into a capacitor bank. (a larger scale of Tesla's design) It seem to me the electromagnetic relation between the Earth and the ionosphere is the inside vs the outside of a magnetic torus. (What is potential across the core of an electromagnetic torus?)

But then it would probably mess with the weather and radio transmissions.
I might be the target for atmospheric static discharge by proposing we play god by controlling lightning.:roll:

It does not sound as far fetched as as many things "we" are proposing, or for that matter, already doing. Does it?

Alex
• Solar Expert Posts: 396 ✭✭✭
Re: Something from nothing

An ion or electron beam won't work as they both require ultra-pure vacuum to propagate more than a few inches, the plasma generated from the energy would diffuse the beam forming a mini aurora. The space shuttle did some tether experiments once to extract energy from the ionosphere. http://www-istp.gsfc.nasa.gov/Education/wtether.html

This is far fetched but not impossible for a very advanced civilization. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kardashev_scale
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyson_sphere
The concept of the Dyson sphere was the result of a thought experiment by physicist and mathematician Freeman Dyson, when he theorized that all technological civilizations constantly increased their demand for energy. He reasoned that if our civilization expanded energy demands long enough, there would come a time when it demanded the total energy output of the Sun. He proposed a system of orbiting structures (which he referred to initially as a shell) designed to intercept and collect all energy produced by the Sun. Dyson's proposal did not detail how such a system would be constructed, but focused only on issues of energy collection. Dyson is credited with being the first to formalize the concept of the Dyson sphere in his 1960 paper "Search for Artificial Stellar Sources of Infra-Red Radiation", published in the journal Science.[1] However, Dyson was not the first to advance this idea. He was inspired by the mention of the concept in the 1937 science fiction novel Star Maker,[2] by Olaf Stapledon, and possibly by the works of J. D. Bernal and Raymond Z. Gallun who seem to have explored similar concepts in their work.[3]
• Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
Re: Something from nothing
niel wrote: »
glad you liked that. i almost wrote how many cows do i have and that proper answer would've been 0. (that would've been another trick question) i kept the original line of thinking though to make my point that just because they're dead does not mean they aren't cows or horses.

A dead horse can be a trampoline.

(Not to worry; no gruesome images.)
• Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
Re: Something from nothing

those 2 aren't wrapped too tight to write and sing a song like that. i wonder if they were putting to song their own experiences? that's a scary thought.
• Solar Expert Posts: 407 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
Re: Something from nothing
nsaspook wrote: »
An ion or electron beam won't work as they both require ultra-pure vacuum to propagate more than a few inches, the plasma generated from the energy would diffuse the beam forming a mini aurora. The space shuttle did some tether experiments once to extract energy from the ionosphere. http://www-istp.gsfc.nasa.gov/Education/wtether.html

This is far fetched but not impossible for a very advanced civilization. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kardashev_scale
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyson_sphere

Speaking of far fetched and advanced technology, how might this affect a "space elevator"?
http://spaceelevatorconference.org/default.aspx

The proposal to construct it of carbon nanotube ribbons certianly presents the possibility of some serious conduction. The proposal would have it pasing through the Van Allen Radiation belts.
• Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
Re: Something from nothing
niel wrote: »
those 2 aren't wrapped too tight to write and sing a song like that. i wonder if they were putting to song their own experiences? that's a scary thought.
Twisted, isn't it? Judy and Rose didn't write it, although they write most of what they perform. They are friends of mine and I ran sound for them at a gig a couple of nights ago. That song is usually a set closer for them. Any time someone mentions a dead horse, in my mind's ear I hear "Giddy up boing, giddyup boing boing, giddyup boing..."
• Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
Re: Something from nothing

that's good they didn't write that and probably sang it as a kind of attention getting ice breaker.

solarevolution,
i'm wondering what the centrifical force of the earth's rotation will do that that.
• Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
Re: Something from nothing
niel wrote: »
that's good they didn't write that and probably sang it as a kind of attention getting ice breaker.
Actually, they usually end their set with it or do it as an encore. It's just about the most popular song they do and people start requesting it as soon as they start playing. There's no accounting for taste.
• Solar Expert Posts: 396 ✭✭✭
Re: Something from nothing
niel wrote: »
solarevolution,
i'm wondering what the centrifical force of the earth's rotation will do that that.

The anti-gravity unit would take care of that.
• Solar Expert Posts: 407 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
Re: Something from nothing
niel wrote: »
i'm wondering what the centrifical force of the earth's rotation will do that that.

The centrifugal force would be used to counteract gravity.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/edwards-elevator.html

From the PBS interview:
"Brad Edwards: The "hook" will be a satellite in high orbit. Due to the rotation of the Earth, the satellite and the upper half of the ribbon are thrown outward away from Earth. An easy way to think about this is to consider a ball on the end of a string that you spin around your head—the string sticks straight out with the ball on the end. In the case of space elevators, Earth does the rotating and the elevator is held in place."

It's a honest to goodness "sky hook".
Don't worry, you can still send your green apprentice to go get the wire stretcher and a bucket of steam.:-)
• Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
Re: Something from nothing

when you are out that far there is very little gravity present to counteract the centrifugal force. that would be spinning around the earth at many thousands of mph in near free space. the filament won't be strong enough to hold it.