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THE Laws of Thermodynamics Thread (merged)

General discussions of the systemic, societal and civilisational effects of depletion.

Re: Update on the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics

Unread postby cube » Tue 10 Jul 2007, 17:33:12

bobcousins wrote:
If you research enough, you may come to believe that what is 'common knowledge' in physics as to what is possible and what is not, may not necessarily be accurate.


"There is one born every minute"
I'm with bobcousins on this one. Not to get too far off topic but if you look at scams in general they almost always have 1 thing in common. It doesn't matter if you're talking about free energy, financial pyramids, or Suzanne Somers's thighmaster get firm thighs for only $19.95!

The message is the same: Getting something for nothing.

If I'm ever in the mood to go save the world then I'll go play a video game. As for real life I've completely given up on trying to save fools from orchestrating their own demise. 8)
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Re: The biggest sucker of all...

Unread postby Valdemar » Tue 10 Jul 2007, 17:51:30

Plasma wrote:Is the one who believes everything has been invented or is known or even that everything they have 'learned' is the truth and is incapable of unlearning and re-learning.

Lots of people thought heavier than air flight, nuclear power, radio, etc were impossible. Just because YOU think you know something is impossible...doesn't make it so.

Yeah, there's one born every minute...those who KNOW what can't be done, because someone told them so.


Too bad heavier-than-air flight was a technological barrier, not a physical one, since the second law being wrong kind've fucks over all science and is like saying you can now show 2 + 2 = 8. If you can find one documented account of thermodynamic violation, feel free to post it, Mr. Defy Convention.

For an encore, how about faster than light travel? I'm sure the fundamental laws of entropy and causality are mutable if we wish it hard enough.

PS. Gravity cancellation? Ohhkay, and this anti-gravity device, why, it wouldn't be using ENERGY to operate, no? Please, take physics 101 again.
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Re: Update on the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics

Unread postby bobcousins » Tue 10 Jul 2007, 17:54:36

shortonoil wrote:
Great! It's Casimir, not cashmere, but otherwise I can't wait to invest in your new Cashmere Online company (ticker: CON). Where do I sign?


Sorry for the spelling, that’s just what the world needs more of, pedantry? But, the point is the human race can not even handle a barrel of oil without killing itself and perhaps the rest of the planet, how the hell is it going to handle free energy?


Perhaps I didn't make myself clear : there is no free energy. It's not just a good idea, it's the Law! 8)

Cashmere wool is wool obtained from the Cashmere goat and is also known as Pashmina.
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Re: Update on the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics

Unread postby emersonbiggins » Tue 10 Jul 2007, 17:56:34

cube wrote:... or Suzanne Somers's thighmaster get firm thighs for only $19.95!

The message is the same: Getting something for nothing.



That's not nothing. It's $19.95, for chris'sakes! :lol:
"It's called the American Dream because you'd have to be asleep to believe it."

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We shall see....who is proven correct

Unread postby Plasma » Tue 10 Jul 2007, 18:08:09

All things in due time.

Since Tesla knew how to cancel gravity and the same effects have been demonstrated by John Hutchinson, it would be ludicrous to assume that with unlimited funds and brainpower, that this problem has not already been solved. In fact, it has been solved for decades.

There is a whole exciting world awaiting those with open minds, but the 1st requirement is that they open their mind.

A closed mind is like a closed system...nothing gets in or out.
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Re: Update on the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics

Unread postby EnergyUnlimited » Wed 11 Jul 2007, 03:27:32

shortonoil wrote:EnergyUnlimited said:
3. Pointless to compare with ancients in that context. We may not know much why our physics works like it does, but we understand quite well how it works. Ancients didn't know either.


We have no assurance that new physical laws will not some day be recognized. If history is any indication, that is quite unlikely not to happen. You seem to place a great deal of faith in a believe system that is .01 percent as old as our species.

Well, possible in principles (non-zero probability), but unlikely to the extreme.
Conservation laws, quantum mechanics, special and general relativity are here to stay.
GR & QM may or may not be reconciled to form "one theory of everything".

It is also possible that mathematics based theory capable to describe actual workings of Nature in arbitrary detail cannot be worked out because it does not exist or would require infinite number of axioms (assumed truths) to work.

Any diversions from GR or QM are expected in trans Planckian setups but not in "normal" world around.

NB. Taking into account practical aspects like PO, coming societal collapse, dieoff etc, we can safely assume that currently developed set of laws of Nature is to remain for good as best ever worked out by humanity.
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Re: Update on the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics

Unread postby fluffy » Wed 11 Jul 2007, 03:50:30

EnergyUnlimited wrote:2. If energy production from vacuum ever occurs, it will take a form of quantum vacuum phase transition and the very fabric of space-time will change and abrupt change of laws of physics will occur in addition to quite arbitrary amounts of energy , which would be released...
Shortly, it would destroy current workings of Universe.
Ultimate apocalypse.
Interestingly, laws of thermodynamics would survive even that...


Don't tell Bush and Cheeny about this, they'd do it just to annoy the environmentalists..
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Re: ALL is NOT Known (at least publicly)

Unread postby seldom_seen » Wed 11 Jul 2007, 04:10:03

Plasma wrote:Many modern day physicists are re-visiting the Aether in the name of zero point energy, quantum foam and vacuum potential.

You should hang out at the gas station and tell that to the dudes filling up their Dodge Durangos and Mercury Mountaineers.
But how the world turns. One day, cock of the walk. Next, a feather duster.
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Re: Update on the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics

Unread postby Falconoffury » Thu 12 Jul 2007, 15:30:35

According to the Heisenburg uncertainty principle, we can't pinpoint the exact location and exact momentum of a particle. Any calculations made for a measurement of movement and position must have a spread probable outcomes.

Suppose we want to calculate the trajectory of a thrown baseball. Even in the most perfect of real world circumstances, our calculation will not be exact.

This whole concept opens a can of worms. Energy could be created and destroyed all the time, and we would have no way of detecting it.
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The Laws of Thermodynamics - Chatting after the lecture...

Unread postby BobWallace » Mon 01 Oct 2007, 23:13:12

"There is no easy way to make a transition from a mechanical world view based upon the idea of permanent material growth to a world view based on the idea of conserving finite resources. It took thousands of years to make the transition from a hunter gatherer existence to an agrarian one. It took hundreds of years to move from an agrarian existence to an industrial one. In both instances, we had plenty of time and resources to make the radical adjustments required. Today, we are being forced to make a transition from the Industrial Age of non-renewable resources to a new and still undefined age based once again on renewable resources or some new primary science--and do it in less than one generation, or even less."

How long did it take us to make the transition from paper and pen to computers? A decade or two?

Things move faster these days. Easy and "immediate" communication make it much easier to share information. We're not even in the land of air mail and waiting for someone to get off the phone any longer. We don't have to drive to the library to look something up.

Plus, we don't live in a closed system. We have a constant (at least for the next few billion years) input of new energy.

Sure, we have a big change ahead of us. A change from a petroleum based system to a system that more directly uses solar energy. And we're going to have to tame coal use while expecting it to go into short supply not that many decades in the future.

So we go to work. We crank out lots and lots of not-all-that-efficient solar panels, less than optimally designed wind mills, funky wave generators, and all the other short term fixes we can imagine. We turn (essentially) all our hydro into pumped storage facilities. We push the limits with other storage systems.

We cobble together some quick fixes for harder to fix problems such as transportation. Think lots of car pooling and lots of new buses on the road.

We limit our diets to easier to grow, more locally grown, in-season food. No more grapes from Chili in January. Forget the mangos from Mexico.

Folks actually replace their lightbulbs with CFLs. (And hopefully LEDs.) The government creates a major program to replace energy hog appliances with energy star+ appliances.

And we squeak by.

(The "squeaking" won't necessarily be pretty.
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Re: The Laws of Thermodynamics - Chatting after the lecture.

Unread postby Iaato » Mon 01 Oct 2007, 23:40:52

BobWallace wrote:How long did it take us to make the transition from paper and pen to computers? A decade or two?

Things move faster these days. Easy and "immediate" communication make it much easier to share information. We're not even in the land of air mail and waiting for someone to get off the phone any longer. We don't have to drive to the library to look something up.


Technology is not equal to energy. Be very afraid of going down as fast as we went up. Technology just helps us to burn energy faster.

Plus, we don't live in a closed system. We have a constant (at least for the next few billion years) input of new energy.


...of really dilute energy, of which nature does a much better job of using than man.

Sure, we have a big change ahead of us. A change from a petroleum based system to a system that more directly uses solar energy. And we're going to have to tame coal use while expecting it to go into short supply not that many decades in the future.


We'll go back to using solar to grow crops the old fashioned way, without tractors and fertilizers. The problem will be that, unlike in the old days, we are/will be way over carrying capacity for non-industrial agriculture without fossil fuel supports. And coal will quickly become less than 1 for EROEI if you can't use giant earth-moving equipment to level mountain tops.

So we go to work. We crank out lots and lots of not-all-that-efficient solar panels, less than optimally designed wind mills, funky wave generators, and all the other short term fixes we can imagine. We turn (essentially) all our hydro into pumped storage facilities. We push the limits with other storage systems
.

That's about 6% of our energy needs, there. What about the other 94%?

We cobble together some quick fixes for harder to fix problems such as transportation. Think lots of car pooling and lots of new buses on the road....And we squeak by.


The American way of life is non-negotiable, yessirree. Welcome to Peak Oil, roberto. Where y'all from?
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Re: The Laws of Thermodynamics - Chatting after the lecture.

Unread postby yesplease » Tue 02 Oct 2007, 02:37:54

Iaato wrote:Technology is not equal to energy. Be very afraid of going down as fast as we went up. Technology just helps us to burn energy faster.
Yes and no. Technology isn't equal to energy, but it also won't result in increased use of energy as a hard and fast rule. It's just a tool, and it's impact depends on it's design and use.
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Re: The Laws of Thermodynamics - Chatting after the lecture.

Unread postby BobWallace » Tue 02 Oct 2007, 10:23:32

Farming:

It's quite possible to grow crops without chemical fertilizer. Some of us have been doing just that for years. Organic farming just takes a different mindset than pumping on the chemicals. And after a ~3 year transition period during which the soil quality is built up, yields are equal or better.

Tractors can easily be run with electricity. Tractors spend the vast majority of their lives parked. Good candidates for quick charging batteries or (if quick chargers are available) exchangeable battery packs.

We might even get better meat of the deal. It will be less economical to raise cattle in feed lots. That will mean more grass fed beef and less corn fed (with all the problems that causes including meat-born human illnesses).

We will, most likely change our diets. We'll eat more local, more in-season and less imported summer fruit in the middle of the winter.
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Re: The Laws of Thermodynamics - Chatting after the lecture.

Unread postby BobWallace » Tue 02 Oct 2007, 10:31:56

"Technology just helps us to burn energy faster. "

This statement is simply false.

Technology is currently focused on 'doing more with less' (energy).

New insulation is being developed. Look how much more efficient refrigerators have become.

New light sources are on the market and being developed. Look at CFLs and LEDs.

Electric and hybrid vehicles are constantly improving and starting to replace traditional vehicles.

Computers are using less and less power. My new laptop pulls ~15 watts. It replaces my desktop which pulled ~135 watts.



"The American way of life is non-negotiable, yessirree."

Horse hockey.

The American way of life will morph to match conditions. Things will be different in the post-petroleum future. But they won't necessarily be worse. In fact, they may be better, a lot better.

Think about a life that doesn't involve air pollution. And the health problems caused by pollution.

Think about a life free of engine noise.

Think about a life when one's food tastes better and is more nutritious.

What will we have to give up? Our Cameros, I suppose. But we get Teslas in return.

I can live with that.
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Re: The Laws of Thermodynamics - Chatting after the lecture.

Unread postby Iaato » Tue 02 Oct 2007, 11:02:30

BobWallace wrote:"Technology just helps us to burn energy faster. "

This statement is simply false.

Technology is currently focused on 'doing more with less' (energy).

New insulation is being developed. Look how much more efficient refrigerators have become.

New light sources are on the market and being developed. Look at CFLs and LEDs.

Electric and hybrid vehicles are constantly improving and starting to replace traditional vehicles.

Computers are using less and less power. My new laptop pulls ~15 watts. It replaces my desktop which pulled ~135 watts.


I usually don't engage in these arguments about PO or no. But I couldn't resist this one because I have an old friend who goes by your moniker who worships at the altar of technology. Just curious. This post of yours does not dissuade me that you are not him.

Yah, technology does more with less, and then it makes more of them, with more bells and whistles, with higher power and more get up and go. Cars? CAFE standards haven't changed in 30 years, and how many more cars are on the road? (Then add in the infrastructure of roads, repair, automaking, and you've got less energy use?????) Insulation & refrigerators? Have you compared the size of a fridge to 30 years ago? Not to mention all that pretty stainless steel. And who had three refrigerators AND a freezer in their family household 30 years ago? Same things for lights, and computers--well, don't get me started. Read up on Jevon's Paradox.

The American way of life will morph to match conditions. Things will be different in the post-petroleum future. But they won't necessarily be worse. In fact, they may be better, a lot better.


I won't argue that one. I am done with this sick culture, and am patiently waiting for the world to change.
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Re: The Laws of Thermodynamics - Chatting after the lecture.

Unread postby Harlequin » Tue 02 Oct 2007, 11:02:57

BobWallace wrote:"Technology just helps us to burn energy faster. "

This statement is simply false.

Technology is currently focused on 'doing more with less' (energy).

New insulation is being developed. Look how much more efficient refrigerators have become.

New light sources are on the market and being developed. Look at CFLs and LEDs.

Electric and hybrid vehicles are constantly improving and starting to replace traditional vehicles.

Computers are using less and less power. My new laptop pulls ~15 watts. It replaces my desktop which pulled ~135 watts.



"The American way of life is non-negotiable, yessirree."

Horse hockey.

The American way of life will morph to match conditions. Things will be different in the post-petroleum future. But they won't necessarily be worse. In fact, they may be better, a lot better.

Think about a life that doesn't involve air pollution. And the health problems caused by pollution.

Think about a life free of engine noise.

Think about a life when one's food tastes better and is more nutritious.

What will we have to give up? Our Cameros, I suppose. But we get Teslas in return.

I can live with that.



You fail to take into account a simple law, the name alludes me right now.

Increases in efficiency mean more use, meaning equal or increased consumption.

If you can drive twice as far in your new car for the same amount of fuel, you will, if your lights use half as much energy its no longer a big deal to leave them on.

But these are really quite small issues, more efficient cars mean little as only the particularly wealthy will be buying the new cars off the market, I think it takes between ten and twenty years to completely replace the private transport fleet of America.

Also more efficiency does not mean things will last for ever.

Lastly, it doesn't take into account other energy guzzlers, such as big transport trucks that can't really lose much energy consumption.

Plus there's the economic ramification to be considered, as well as the social.

How many people will want to give up their nice big SUV's?

EDIT: GAH, NINJA'D
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Re: The Laws of Thermodynamics - Chatting after the lecture.

Unread postby Pops » Tue 02 Oct 2007, 11:26:47

Just one tiny example of the real world effects of your original analogy about pen to computers can be seen in the large number of skilled craftsmen who worked in the printing industry whose trades were eliminated between 197x and 199x.

Their crafts, perhaps 8 or 10 or more steps in the process were replaced by computers and direct to plate printing. That was on the upslope and though some were able to transition to the new process, most simply had to find something else to do or they were lucky enough to retire.

The deal is that on the down slope there will be a huge loss of jobs across the entire economic spectrum and though there will be jobs in new technologies the fact is the economy will necessarily be smaller and the jobs fewer. It doesn’t take a college degree to realize each of those truck drivers who haul January tomatoes aren’t going to have the same disposable income when they are hoeing weeds in a tomato field. Spread that same effect across the entire GDP and you get an idea of where I am going.

And that is in the rich world.

Don’t get me wrong, we own a small farm where we raise cattle on grass, grow and store lots of our own food and could probably grow much more than we could eat. We don’t work at any other steady job and none more than a mile or 2 distant. Our life would get tough with no outside infrastructure whatsoever but we could get by; something not many can say.

I agree that here in the rich world most will probably get by through employing those things you mention and many more, but dealing with the unforseen consequences will be the tough part.

Just ask my son-in-law still in Iraq…
The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves -- in their separate, and individual capacities.
-- Abraham Lincoln, Fragment on Government (July 1, 1854)
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Re: The Laws of Thermodynamics - Chatting after the lecture.

Unread postby BobWallace » Tue 02 Oct 2007, 11:28:32

It's "Jevons Paradox" and it's the darling of the doomers. It's become their one hope in totally bumming themselves out.

But I don't think it holds. It makes an assumption of no decrease in the commodity in question. Simply says that if devices become more efficient then people will use those devices more.

Add in the decreasing supply of petroleum and Jevons falls on his butt. More efficient devices will mean that we can continue to use our devices as much (or almost as much) as we did before and not drain our wallets too fast.

--

Refrigerators. I'm off the grid, have been for ~18 years. I've been paying a lot of attention to refrigerator technology as it's my largest electricity draw.

About 15 years ago I looked for the most efficient refrigerator (aside from Sun Frost) that I could find. It was a 9 cu.ft. Sanyo. When I built my new house I replaced it with an 18 cu.ft. Kenmore.

Both pull about 1.2 kW on a hot day. That's a 2x improvement in efficiency in a decade.

Will people continue to maintain that rusty old inefficient refer in the garage where they keep an extra six pack or two?

Most likely not.

Will their lifestyle crash and burn? Will they riot in the streets? Will there be massive human die off during Superbowls?

Duh.
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Re: The Laws of Thermodynamics - Chatting after the lecture.

Unread postby BobWallace » Tue 02 Oct 2007, 11:35:47

"Just one tiny example of the real world effects of your original analogy about pen to computers can be seen in the large number of skilled craftsmen who worked in the printing industry whose trades were eliminated between 197x and 199x.

Their crafts, perhaps 8 or 10 or more steps in the process were replaced by computers and direct to plate printing. That was on the upslope and though some were able to transition to the new process, most simply had to find something else to do or they were lucky enough to retire."

And lots of middle manager and secretarial/clerk jobs disappeared at the same time due to the switch to computers.

How many good paying IT jobs were created at the same time?

I'm not suggesting that the transition will be painless. It will be incredibly painful for some people, even fatal, no doubt.

Do we have a choice with oil production on the decline and the globe heating up (and the air becoming worse)?

Don't think so.

Should we bury our heads in the sand or concentrate on the worst possible outcome?

Can't see the sense in that. Better to get busy softening our fall as much as possible and making a better future for those who will follow us.
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Re: The Laws of Thermodynamics - Chatting after the lecture.

Unread postby Cloud9 » Tue 02 Oct 2007, 11:44:23

The day we run out of fuel for our tractors will be the day after we run out of fuel for our tanks. That day will be a long time in coming.
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