View Full Version : Electricity For Free?

G.A. Ewen
05-28-2003, 08:08 AM
Good morning gentlemen,
In the latest issue of Farm Show there is a story about a couple of Australian guys who claim to have built a machine that produces more electricity than it uses. The artical says that they have been granted U.S. patents. What do you think? Have the laws of physics been bent or broken? Or have these two pulled one over on the patent office? http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//confused.gif

05-28-2003, 08:15 AM
Didn't some guy from Australia get a patent on the wheel a couple of years back? My gas powered generator already makes more electricity than it uses. I figure you may be thinking in the right direction.

05-28-2003, 09:08 AM
The US patent office has for a while been apparently hiring folks who can't get a job at a burger joint.

I have seen more bad patents than I care to talk about. In our biz, there was a patent granted that had a number of claims identical to another earlier patent. They should have been thrown out.

Other areas, like plant-related areas, have similar problems. Broad patents are issued for well-known prior art that has been minimally "re-packaged".

AND, in some court districts, it is known that they never throw out patents uexcept for gross prior disclosures. So you might have to actually pay a patent holder on a bum patent, or spend 2 million trying to overthrow it, and likely failing.

The US patent office is clearly on the downslide toward the dark ages. Uneducated personnel, corruption will be next, if it is not already there. Third world stuff, folks...........

05-28-2003, 10:13 AM
Corruption started the patent office.

A patent gives you NO protection, It does give you legal rights when you sue the copier for infringement. YOu must bring case yourself. A patent once accepted is public domain. This makes it available to anyone who wishes to copy your ideal. The invention patent attorneys do just that.
There are multiple ways of doing anything, but the ideals to do them are rare. The Ideal is the valuable part.
A local orthoscopic surgical instrument producer, he will not patent his invention so it won't become widepspread copied. He has a certified letter mailed to himself in the safe, if the need arises he will open it in court. Once he found out I was a gadget maker, he got me off his property. He was afraid I would steal his invention.

05-28-2003, 10:28 AM
We hear a lot about these crazy things, that can make more than amount put in. The laws of conservation of matter and engery tell us different.
If it's too good to be true, then it most likely it is.

Patents are a legal recognition of somebodies work. I have people who beat me over the head with their ideas and then warn me off that their work is patent pending, and that legal action will be taken with me if I try to take there ideas. I don't accept work from any of these folks. If they offer a piece of the action, run as fast as you can, that means they are broke and have no money.
At university I worked with a couple of inovative people who had several patents, they found the money for proto typing, for research making a final working version and the cost of doing the filing with the patent office. They paid for every thing, had massive amounts of documentation, and many of the things that they patented, generated no meaning full income if any.


robert phillips
05-28-2003, 11:34 AM
it's easy to produce more electricity than you use. turn on a motor generator set. the real question is do they claim to produce more energy than the device consumes. perpetual motion again. next thing you know they will have anti gravity drives.

John Stevenson
05-28-2003, 12:33 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by robert phillips:
Next thing you know they will have anti gravity drives.</font>

Got one of them http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Couple of weeks ago got out the bath, stopped to put the coal back in [ UK joke ] and went downstairs. About three steps down my left foot slipped on the wooden steps. [ Still sober at this point ]
Stuck my leg thru the old original Victorian spindled stair case and fell arse over tit to the bottom, hitting my arse and elbow on every step on the way down.

Whilst lying at the bottom saying something like O golly, O gosh, this giant pigmey stands at the top of the stairs and throws every spindle down I'd ripped out with my leg and bounced every one but one on my noggin. I shall't say where the last one ended up. That was certainly a good test drive of my anti gravity device http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Moral of the story is: Leave the damn coal in the bath and stay in the workshop, it's bloody safer.

John S.

05-28-2003, 12:37 PM
FYI, every source I have ever checked with, including my attorney, has repeatedly assured me that a letter mailed to oneself has no legal weight whatsoever. Witnesses are much more useful, and can testify in court.

05-28-2003, 01:13 PM
The letter is worthless.

What IS ok, is to keep a notebook and write everything in it. When you have a good idea, describe it in the notebook, and date it

Have another person who can understand it read your description and sign and date the page. Keep the book locked up, of course, and non-disclosures may be needed.

Nolo press have a book called "patent it yourself" or some such, which is pretty good. They describe the notebook thing.

As far as free electricity and anti-gravity, I have no assumption that they are impossible.

What I do have is an assumption that energy cannot be created from nothing. In other words, SOMEONE or something is going to supply the energy for that "free" electricity.
It might be some newly discovered process for creating electricity, but it cannot "create" the energy, it can only "find" and "use" it.

Finally, folks that are sure you will steal their great ideas are usually (not always) cranks who have other problems as well, like a very loose link to reality.

05-28-2003, 03:08 PM
I am under the imprression that the patent office will patent anything, new and novel and not self evident EXCEPTING prepetual motion machines. Some (preptual motion machines) have been patented by careful wording of the claims. The courts then decide if the patent is really new etc.

Wasn't it the inventor of the grid in vaccum tubes that lost many years later becasue his claims were not correct- he did the invention alright but was not protected becasue his theory was wrong? I think patents only protect those with need AND money to sue. But my info is years old ad the laws have changed greatly in recent years- but the changes lessen the power to enforce patents, especially between countries.

G.A. Ewen
05-28-2003, 03:36 PM
R.Phillips, This is a quote from the story in Farm Show "It reportedly produces about 1,000 watts per hour more than it uses." and "they figure Lutec 1000 owners will be able to help pay for their machines by selling electricity back to the power grid." As I read it, the machine runs on electricity from the local utility and some how produces more than it uses.
A combination of permanent magnets and coil magnets and other such things.

05-28-2003, 05:32 PM

Like the two Vermonters who went to the fair and saw an inventor touting his new contraption. The two looked on for a while and one said to the other, "What do you suppose it is?" His friend replied, "Looks to me like some kind of separator." "What do you mean, a separator?" "You just keep watching. Pretty soon it will separate some fool from his money."

05-28-2003, 07:49 PM
I like to think about Einstein making corrections on people's patent apps when he was working in the patent office.

05-28-2003, 08:38 PM
I can make those machines all day long. Bunch of solar cells and a battery.

Now if you really want to make novel thing, then tap in to a harnessed Maxwell's demon machine or a perfect storage system... Not another Adam's motor varient.

-- jerry

05-28-2003, 10:40 PM
Sounds like a steam ship to me,you know,we pressurize bunker-c and burn it in a boiler to make steam,the steam turns the turbine which turns the generator,the generator produces electricity to run the pumps,the pumps we use to pressurize the bunker-c.So the question is if the fire goes out who mans the hand pump?The oiler of course http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gifMy point being a complex system will easily lose a simple mind,and once you are lost everything seems wonderful and scary at the same time http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gifPerpetual motion B.S.!Now I do have a good one for you,have any of you guys heard of one of our local hicks by the name of Newman?He had a different explaination of how a permanet magnet worked that sounds better than the text books,his thinking was simple,he would take a magnet and pick up a piece of steel and then ask the person he showed it to"what just happened"the answer is work was performed,but what was expended?He believed that the magnet was actually losing mass!But because it lost a miniscule amount it would take eons to exhuast it.Well he was rediculed for years and scoffed at until low and behold a few researchers became interested and stole his theory.In the end he got screwed and they got the credit.Mainly because they had the paper on the wall and he didn't.

05-28-2003, 11:26 PM
My friend always swore he got more energy out of a burrito than he put in.

Dave Opincarne
05-28-2003, 11:44 PM
Free electricity = don't pay the bill.

Rich Carlstedt
05-29-2003, 01:58 AM
Some of the current patent applications have reached 900 pages in length..the Patent Office is inundated with requests and some are so far out it is rediculas!
Years ago, it had to be a working idea with a model to show its value.
They dropped the "model" requirement and now it is "creativity" that is honored..What a bunch of bs !
for example...what if i said "Hey, Blue grass is easy on the eyes" and then got a patent for it....I can't even make Blue Grass, but i got it covered...now you come along and make it happen, but guess what ...I have the patent.
If you don't believe me, check out the current Supreme Court agenda..they have a case such as this with Bio-Medical implications....one party patented it, but didn't know how to make it !! so who should own the rights? the one who does it, or the one who thought of it ?

Rich Carlstedt
05-29-2003, 02:01 AM
I should say...
I have this idea that Lead can be changed to Gold
My idea......but i don't know how?

see what I mean?

05-29-2003, 03:54 AM
Shades of RamBus, or should I say ScamBus! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//eek.gif

I did that stuff as a child so I could recover better than I could in my old age. When I was two I would carry my mother's sewing machine in its metal carrying case up and down the stairs all day until I pooped out at the top of the stairs and would fall backwards - sometimes I even left the sewing machine at the top of the stairs instead of hanging on to it... http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

robert phillips
05-29-2003, 10:17 AM

is that a quarter watt per second? how many centuries would you have to sell that back to the pwr co to pay off this contraption?


05-29-2003, 12:44 PM
If anybody has any left over electricity, maybe you could put it in a bag, and send it to me. I like electricity. And magnetism, I've always been fascinated by that. I'm not surprised to hear that some researchers have developed (stolen) and idea about where the work came from to have a magnet move a block of steel. There's one thing we really don't know much about at all, that is, coercing the atom to give up some of it's energy without blowing it up, or having it blow up. That much we do know, and of it's radioactive effects. And we know that there is a considerable ammount of energy 'stored' for want of a better word, in the atom. Who's to say there isn't a way for energy to be released on a small scale, which would then show minimal effect to the atom. Small, but continued shrinkage, perhaps, as energy is released, or maybe the opposite, a growth of the atom. Maybe Pons and Fleischman had something with their fusion experiments. Whatever happened to them, anyway? Did the benefit of their experiments end up in someone else's hands? The government, perhaps? Abundant energy that would free us from fossil fuel worries (and hurt the bottom line for a lot of big companies)- hm, I wonder if that is pretty much the only reason why we don't know more of these answers. If we did, we'd be living in fear of being snuffed.

05-29-2003, 01:07 PM
The old magnet deal?

Don't believe it....think about it.

So you put a magnet by a piece of steel and it picks it up. Why is there a question about the energy? Only because someone does not understand.

There is potential energy given up as the steel passes through the magnetic field, because being stuck to the magnet is a "lower energy state" than being held away from it. Just like the energy given up when you drop a weight off the table.

To remove the steel from the magnet, you have to supply all that potential energy, PLUS the small energy expended to re-align some of the "magnetic domains" in the piece of steel. After removal from the magnet, those "domains" re-randomize, losing some energy as heat. Therefore it is an "under unity" operation, just as it should be.

Lifting the weight onto the table is the same deal, you are lifting it out of a lower energy state. Losses occur in the mechanism used to lift it (friction, etc)

The magnet was charged to begin with by applying a magnetic field to it. Energy is stored in that portion of the original charging field which remains in the magnet (remanent field) A portion was lost as heat in that process also.

So, there isn't any magic energy source or drain involved with a magnet. It just happens that it looks like it is somehow cheating the rules.

AS far as the slight weight loss, I am not so sure, but I will remain open on that idea. I can't see a reason, but since energy and mass are inter-related, it isn't completely stupid.

Remember, 99.9%+ of the people who are sure that their great idea will be or has been stolen are either cranks, dead wrong, or have a reality problem. There have been good ideas stolen, no doubt. There will be more.
But stolen plans for free energy perpetual motion machines are just about perfect evidence a person should be in a padded cell for their own protection.

Added info:

I looked at the Lutec site.....

Their magnet vs electromagnet explanation is plain crazy.
It takes NO ENERGY to hold a weight up. The energy was stored by the initial lifting. Comparing a permanent magnet to an electromagnet is a classic "straw man".

It is about the same as if I had this revolutionary product, the "shelf".
I would compare the use of a "shelf" to hold up an object to the use of a continuously pumped fountain to hold up the object by the impct of water on it.

Look at all the energy required by the fountain-based support mechanism, vs the simple "shelf". Think of the energy savings, you just "have" to be able to get those out somehow, right?

Stupid? Sure. So is the Lutec magnet comparison. If they can't do better than that, they must not have anything to sell that has value, because they have no understanding of the principles involved.

They probably would go off into a tirade about traditional science vs open-ness to ideas....most of that type does, and it's virtual proof that the rest of their stuff is balderdash and crap designed to separate other people from their money.
Don't waste your time.

[This message has been edited by Oso (edited 05-29-2003).]

G.A. Ewen
05-29-2003, 03:31 PM
Well said, all of you. It's a shame that a magazine like Farm Show prints such rubbish. The next thing you know they will be telling us that men from Mars are farming peaches in the Arctic.

05-29-2003, 04:05 PM
When I was in high school, my physics teacher told the class how to steal electricity. You had to live under a power transmission line. You erect a pole with a coil of wire on it, parallel to one of the wires, but not touching the wire. The excess EMF leaking out of the wire would induce a current in the coil. You'd have to be pretty damn stupid to try this. We were studying electricity and magnetism and this came up as part of the lecture.

05-29-2003, 08:36 PM
Rad, I have a friend who 'steals' power this way. She lives very near to high tension lines, and when it rains, she goes for a walk- under the lines. She actually gets shocked via the umbrella. I'm just not sure how she uses the charge.

Herb Helbig
05-29-2003, 11:48 PM
Oso is right about permanent magnets.

When they are manufactured work, is done to align the magnetic fields of the constituent atoms which were originally randomly oriented. The coordination of all the individual atomic fields results in a magnetic field that is large outside the magnet. This is an unstable, higher energy configuration as can be seen by raising the temperature above a critical value whereupon randomness is restored and the external field is lost. The details at the atomic level are complicated and probably not well understood even today. For example, I'm not aware that the critical temperature can be calculated very accurately given the atomic composition.

A permanent magnet should lose mass when heated beyond its critical temperature, but the effect will be very small. I have some rare earth magnets half an inch long and 1/4" in diameter. A crude estimate (based on the fact that it takes about 2 pounds to pull them apart) is that such a magnet, with a mass of about 3 grams would lose about 10^(-21) grams if demagnetized (that's 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 001 grams).

I'd also point out that Watts measure power (energy per unit time), so the Farm Show talk of Watts per hour is probably not a measure of anything interesting.


05-30-2003, 12:58 AM
It is getting better, I like folks who mis-use units http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Stuff like that is more evidence against listening to anything they say...the very FIRST thing is to be sure what units you are measuring with............

Has anyone bothered with their energy formula as per the website? It looked like their page conveniently stopped right where they were going to do some math and show their work............

05-30-2003, 01:20 AM
Magnetic field created by electrical field is well understood and Maxwell's equation does a good job in modeling it (note that matter is not required here), but permanent magnet (this involves matter) is something that's not very well understood even with advanced quantum mechanics. This is in part because electron is largely reponsible for permanent magnetism and it's a particle which yield very little information about it's inner workings. Even the most powerful accelerator has not been able to probe deeper into the structure of electron and it's now commonly believed to have zero radius. It's essentially a point. In spite of this simplicity, it has a rather complex energy states which helps us to model everything from radio wave to optical properties of matter.

For goodness sakes, we don't even understand how the earth produces magnetic field. The idea that the inner core is a big magnet is a nonsense, since the core temperature exceeds the currie point and the iron rich mantle is rendered non-magnetic. There are other conjectures, but that's all they are conjectures.

Herb, I have never heard about magnet loosing mass. Can you explain the math and the science behind this?


[This message has been edited by Rotate (edited 05-30-2003).]

Paul Alciatore
05-30-2003, 02:02 AM
First, let me assure you that the laws of physics have not been broken. Can a machine produce more electricity than it consumes. Of course it can - if the extra electrical energy comes from some other source. No problem with physics here.

What can't be done is for a closed system to produce more ENERGY than it consumes. And you have to include any matter that is converted to energy here, as in an atomic bomb or nuclear reactor. According to physics, matter and energy are exactly the same thing, just different manifestations.

So if anyone claims that they have a device that produces more energy than it consumes, you may feel very safe in not believing it.

Having said that, how about the title of this thread: "free electricity". Is this possible? Well, yes ..... and no. Some, likely most, would feel that a solar cell does indeed produce free electricity. Where's the rub? Solar cells cost a lot in proportion to the amount of electricity they produce. Is this a violation of physical laws? Heck no, the sun is converting matter to energy to power those cells. On the practical side, the cost of solar cells is coming down but the various power companies still use hydroelectric and coal and nuclear and ... but not much solar.

There are other ways of obtaining free electricity. The air around us contains all sorts of electromagnetic radiation which can be picked up with the appropriate antenna. It can be rectified in to electricity. Many years ago I saw a radio project in one of the electronic magazines that featured free electricity that was used to amplify weak signals of distant stations. It used the radiation of closer, stronger stations to power a "flea powered" amplifier. It worked. But this is even more costly to do for the amount of electricity involved than the solar cell bit.

Hydroelectric power is sometimes thought of as free but the dams do cost. Etc., etc., etc. TINSTAFIL There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.

Without even knowing thing one about the Australian machine, I can very confidently tell you: 1.) it absolutely, positevely does not violate any laws of physics and 2.) it is almost certainly not practical as a free source of electricy. Please don't buy any stock in this.

05-30-2003, 08:19 AM
Latest News Flash!!! Todays newspaper, Worcester Telegram, Worcester Ma, has an article about a company from Athol Ma, trying to develop Stirling (sp?) engines to recover power through heat losses of large industrial plants...Striling Advantage (name of company). There will still be no free lunch, but there may be a payout to recover lost heat energy.

Paul Gauthier
05-30-2003, 12:03 PM
Recovered heat energy????? Let me tell you a little tale about a lack of recovered heat energy.
My employer, Wyman-Gordon, operates two heat treating furnaces about thirty feet from my work area, in winter it is a good spot to work, in summer it really sucks. The inside area of these furnaces is about 8 ft. square, and they operate at temps of 1100* to 1800* and are running virtualy 24 hrs. a day. Above them are stacks that vent to the outside. The must be exhausting millions of btu's per minuit. Why these morons have not yet figured out that by putting a heat exchanger on those stacks and using said recovered heat to heat our buildings in winter is, to me at least, incredibly stupid. The natural gas bill for them is in the millions per year. That of course includes the cost of heating the buildings with other large hot air devices all over the shop. Now I am just guessing but I believe that any cost incured in building a heat exchanger to heat the shop would be recovered in less that one winter, especialy after this last winter. It simply boggles the mind.

Paul G.

05-30-2003, 12:29 PM
That is exactly the sort of thing where our government could make a positive contribution. By offering tax incentives (and maybe some pressure) to encourage more conservation. After Jimmy Carter's declaration of the "moral equivalent of war", the gov'mt has sat on its butt and done virtually nothing, when there's so much that could be done, to the betterment of all mankind.

05-30-2003, 12:41 PM
Personally, I liked the tide wall ideal, You put up a wall with a hydro generator, tide comes up, generator runs one way, tide goes out, generator runs other way. I think the ideal has been patented thou. I am sure it would aggravate some sea shrimp or other nonsense and greenpeace tree huggers would be all over it.
We have a pumped storage plant (racoon mountain) that pumps water to the lake during low demand time, and lets it run down during high demand time. They consider it free power. FUnny, the generators turn into large motors and pumps. Same devices just activated differently. Same basic Ideal as what I just said, but would not have to expend energy to pump back up.

05-30-2003, 01:57 PM
I don't know about the critter environment factors, but the idea has techical merit. However, If you look at the best place, it it the Bay of Fundy (sp?). Huge tides. Block it and generate a lot of power. It will also raise the ocean level "offshor" and substantially increase coastline erosion.

So there is no free lunch there, though I have some ideas and built a badly working concept exploration box several years ago.

-- jr

Herb Helbig
05-30-2003, 09:16 PM
Rotate -

There is energy associated with a magnetic field rather like the potential energy associated with the gravitational field. Einstein's theory of special relativity predicted that there is a mass associated with energy in any form - good old E = mc^2. The mass equivalent of a small amount of energy (m = E/c^2) is small because c squared is so large; 9x10^18 (meters squared/second squared), so this effect went unnoticed before the equation appeared and folks started looking for it.

One of the first indications came when light was observed to bend in a gravitational field. The apparent position of a star was observed to change as it passed close to the sun during an eclipse in 1919, I think. The sun's gravitational field deflected the light because of its mass equivalent. Actually, the theory of general relativity was required to understand this effect completely, but Einstein had managed that by 1915.

Of course, the practical way to see the mass-energy effect is to convert nuclear mass to energy. Then the hugeness of c^2 works to your advantage.

A nice way to appreciate the energy of a magnetic field is to consider a transformer where the field is the only connection between two coils of wire. Yet electrical energy dumped into one coil is conveyed to the other by the magnetic field.

I learned about magnetic energy as a six year old when a guy interested in my education (I guess) had me hold the output of a magneto while he spun it.

The energy density in a magnetic field, B, (in empty space or approximately in air) can be derived from Maxwell's equations to be (1/2)B^2/mu0 where mu0 (mu naught) is a constant called the permeability of free space. To get the energy of the magnetic field in a small volume, you multiply this energy density by the volume. Do this for all the volume elements where the field is appreciable and add them all up to get the total magnetic energy. The only quantity you need to do this is the magnitude of the B field. I estimated this from the measured force between two magnets which is approximately F = (B^2 x S)/mu0. S is the area of the magnet pole face.

To calculate the energy accurately is a bear, so I did it crudely - probably too small by a factor of ten (or a hundred!) But who cares? Divide the result by c^2, and you have a (crummy) estimate of the mass equivalent of the magnetic field energy. The point is that the mass equivalent is immeasurably small - even if the true field energy is ten or a hundred times larger than my crude estimate.


05-30-2003, 09:29 PM
Tidal capture projects like the Bay of Fundy seem like one of the least environmentally unfriendly ways to make use of naturally occuring processes. Those tides happen, anyway, all we're doing is delaying the release of the water. It is intermittent, though, and that has to be one of the major drawbacks of so many alternate power sources. The reference to off-peak power storage is interesting, I recall an article years ago now, that suggested pumping air into huge underground salt caverns, using off-peak power, then augmenting the power grid with air turbines during peak demand times. I wonder whatever happened to that. Or did that turn out to be another one of those '100,000 kwh in, 2000 kwh out', proposals? One of my own theoretical power projects is the pedal-power computer. (patent pending, ha). No pedal, no play, wait a minute, that means no pedal, no forum. Hmmm- bad idea. A serious aside, though, who has the best idea for using low-grade excess heat? We're obviously the smartest group of people on the planet, let's come up with the answer.

05-30-2003, 10:37 PM
'..smartest group of people..', hmmm. An equally strong argument could be made that we're the 'dumbest group of people on the planet'.

Herb Helbig
05-30-2003, 11:10 PM
The more you know, the more you know you don't know!


05-31-2003, 12:10 AM
Herb, I still don't understand how the mass of a permanent magnet can change. I understand that mass and energy are interchangeable as express by Einstein's famous equation, but the only two ways that I know of "loss of mass" is either through fission/fusion (mechanism: mass defect) or total annihilation of particles (e.g. electron and positron combining). Obviously the latter isn't happening since positrons are hard to come by on earth out side of the nuclear accelerators, and the nuclear fission/fusion requires activies at the nuclear level which can't be achieve without reaching temperature of millions of degrees. Perhaps I snoozed when the physics prof was talking about other forms of matter to energy conversion, but otherwise I think a permanent magnet looses mass when heated.


[This message has been edited by Rotate (edited 05-31-2003).]

05-31-2003, 12:38 AM
We still don't really know anything about atomic structure - like how the proton/neutron core does not fly apart from the electrostatic forces involved that are extremely minute but at distances &lt;&lt;10^-10 meters the relative force is extreme.

Research into atomic structure will never end as there will always be some ellusive quantum particle to find "that will explain everything".

I presume you know about rare earth magnets (NbFeB) - they were discovered after Fussion bomb tests. Very powerful, but still not magic. I have looked at a few of these "free power" sites and I always get a hoot out of them and their insistance these "uber Permanent Magnets" will end all energy woes using their "cone 'o power".

I still think cold fusion is the best bet. In a Universe packed mostly with free energy (the missing mass) it will be a miracle if we ever figure it out. I am placing my bets on space Aliens saving our arses... http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//eek.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

I do know of one mechanical unit that generates mor electricity than it uses - A rope start Diesel Generator! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

05-31-2003, 01:21 AM
Here's a long shot. Suppose by some exact coercion, via a catalyst in whatever form, a nucleus could be coaxed to give out a photon. This photon would convert to an electron, while taking the place of an electron as it bumps it out of orbit. Since we provide a pathway for that electron to go, into our motors, perhaps, the coercion process inevitably proceeds. WOILA electricity directly from the atom, no steam turbine or nuclear reactor needed. The atom loses mass during the process, and doesn't spew neutronic daggers into our livers while doing so. Oh, yeah, patent pending. Thang you velly much, lays and germs.

05-31-2003, 12:55 PM

Gluon is responsible for the Strong force which keeps the nucleons together. It's a much much stronger force than electromagnetic force, however its effect is only over a very short distance. In the end, we shouldn't loose sight of the fact that all this nothing more than a model which predicts the behavior of our universe and not the true nature of it.


05-31-2003, 05:59 PM
They may be right about gluons, but I doubt it. They are going to be really pissed when they find out the universe is infinite in both directions! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

My G.U.T. is real Chocolate Milk is better in glass bottles and served ice cold.
And the only Quantum theory worth worring about is "There is more than enough for everyone." http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

You have to have your priorities, you know... http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Herb Helbig
05-31-2003, 10:47 PM
Albert -

You're exactly right! How hard for me to be clear, and not get lost in the details. What I figured out is the additional mass the permanent magnet gains due to the energy of magnetizing it. As you say, when it is heated beyond a critical temperature the atomic alignment is lost. As the magnetic fields of the atoms get scrambled, the energy of the magnetic field it used to have is converted to (a very small amount of) heat - or one could say the extra mass due to the magnetic field is converted to heat of random atomic motion. This would be very hard to measure as it would be swamped by the heat applied to remove the magnetic field.

This kind of mass change is analogous to your fission/fusion example. A deuteron has a larger mass (2.014102 u) than the sum of the neutron (1.008665 u) and proton (1.007276 u) masses (= 2.015941 u), due to the nuclear binding energy (2.23 MeV) of the deuteron. [u = 1.660559 x 10^-27 kg; 1/12 the mass of 12 carbon]. These mass differences are measurable quantities using a mass spectrometer. (The neutron mass was worked out indirectly since it can't be accelerated easily or deflected by the magnetic field of a mass spectrometer.) The same sort of thing occurs with chemical compounds - a water molecule is more massive than one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms. But the binding energies of chemical compounds are eV's (due to electromagnetic, also called chemical, forces) instead of MeV's (due to nuclear forces), so the mass differences are much harder to measure. Magnetizing an alloy involves the same electromagnetic forces that are responsible for chemical bonding.

Thrud - I bought a bunch of those neat magnets from Lee Valley thanks to your lead. In fact, the magnets I used in my example came from there. Little tigers they are! And have you gotten the latest Lee Valley catalog with the kayak on the cover? It's worth framing!

Neatest "free" energy trick I've seen is really a solar energy trick. (You could run it with geothermal energy, too.) A wheel is made with a rim of gadolinium (Gd). A portion of the rim is exposed to the sun, heating it above the critical (Curie) temperature (20 degrees centigrade) of this ferromagnetic element. The cooler portion of the rim remains magnetic. A permanent magnet placed near one edge of the non-magnetic portion will attract the nearby material still cool enough to remain magnetic and rotate the wheel. This brings a new magnetic portion into the warming region where it loses its magnetic property while the opposite end of the non-magnetic region rotates out of the sunlight, cools and regains its magnetism. The process continues as long as the sun shines and as long as the shaded region continues to cool. Some electrical engineering department must have assigned, as a practical problem, to study the economics of this scheme.


06-02-2003, 12:58 AM
Yes I did see it - beautiful does not begin to describe it. I guess Dr. Vernon B Shaffner of Halifax, NS should give himself a big pat on the back for sharing that with us. I love the inlay on the seat-back.

06-02-2003, 06:44 AM
Herb and Albert,
It's been a very long time since I took college physics, but I'm gonna get in on the discussion.
Herb, in your deuteron example your figures show that the mass of the deuteron is less than the sum of the proton and neutron masses. That's correct because the deuteron is in a lower energy state than a free proton and a free neutron. Binding energy is not stored energy, but the energy required to separate the deuteron into its constituent particles. Similarly, a water molecule should have less mass than one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms, since energy is released when they combine by combustion, and the addition of energy is required to separate them. Albert, Einstein's equation applies in all cases, not just nuclear reactions. Raise an object up onto a shelf and it will have more mass, since you've increased its potential energy. Charge a battery and it will have more mass. A simple thought experement to convince you goes something like this: Suppose you rig up a small nuclear reactor to charge a storage battery. Place this setup in a perfectly sealed and insulated box. No matter can get in or out because it's sealed. No energy can get in or out since it's perfectly insulated. The mass of the box and its contents cannot change. But we know that the nuclear reactor loses mass as it converts mass into energy, which then charges the battery. If the nuclear fuel loses mass, but the total mass of the system remains constant, then the mass of the battery must increase, even though no nuclear reactions take place in the battery. Once I understood this, E=mc^2 became much less mysterious to me, since I no longer had to figure out when it applies and when it doesn't. It always applies. Any time there is a change in energy; kinetic, potential, charging or discharging a battery, compressing or releasing a spring, there is an attendant change in mass. Of course as Herb has pointed out, the energies we normally encounter are extremely small, relativistically speaking, so the mass changes are utterly insignificant.

I have a friend who actually is a physicist, and we're going to see the stageplay "Copenhagen" (about Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg) this coming Tuesday. I'll tell her about this discussion, and if she tells me I'm all wet I'll get back to you.

06-02-2003, 11:12 AM

In your thought experiment, where the nuclear reactor and the battery is in an enclosed system, you note that "If the nuclear fuel loses mass, but the total mass of the system remains constant". The total mass of the system does NOT remain constant. What is conserved in a closed system is the sum of mass and energy. In this case, the nuclear reactor does loose mass but the mass which is converted into energy is now stored in the battery (plus the heat produced). There's nothing that happens in the battery which can alter it's mass. Charging and discharging of the battery is purely eletrochemical reaction where matter is conserved. It would be wrong to apply E=mc^2 to every day phenomena, since as I noted in my previous posting, the conversion of mass to energy is achieved through mass defect, which is a nuclear activity.

"compressing or releasing a spring" does not alter mass. There is no "mass defect" happening here. Conversion of kinetic energy to potential energy does not involve mass to energy conversion. All mechanical, chemical, electrical, and electromagnetic (incl light) interactions conserve mass in a closed system.

Another thought experiment: Does a charged capacitor, which has energy stored, have greater mass than a discharged capacitor? No. For every electron which was charging the negative plate, an electron was removed from the positive plate. The total number of electrons and of course nucleus remains constant.


[This message has been edited by Rotate (edited 06-02-2003).]

Paul Alciatore
06-02-2003, 12:59 PM
First on the tidal energy thing. It seems to me that this has been talked about for more years than solar. From my understanding of the problems, it's not just the intermittant nature of it but also the relatively low pressures involved. Hoover Dam is hundreds of feet high and the water pressure at the base is tremendous. So the water flows rapidly and the turbines can run at a decent speed with high torque. With a head of only a few feet, a tidal generator will be far less efficient. I'm not saying it can't be done, just that it's a lot harder. Then there's the intermittant thing. You get the full output for only a few hours out of every 12-, perhaps two or three. It will be idle more than half the time. I think that's basicially why the power companies would rather spend their money on daming rivers. Much more bang for the buck.

As for low grade thermal power sources, it's much like the difference between rivers and the tides. In trying to extract usable energy from heat, it's not the temperature that counts but the TEMPERATURE DIFFERENCE. The larger the difference in the temperatures of your heat source and your heat sync, the more efficient your power generation CAN be. Hot steam is condensed into relatively cooler water, fuel is burned in a cylinder (very hot) creating high pressure and exhausted into the cool athmosphere where the pressure is lower (on the other side of that piston), fuel is burned creating hot gases which exhaust to the cooler atmosphere through turbine blades, and check out the Stirling cycle. All of these processes and according to the basic laws of thermodynamics, all conversions of heat to other forms of energy, do and MUST work more efficiently when larger differences in temperature are employed. So if you are going to invest your money and your energy in a heat engine, you will definitely get more bang for the buck working with a larger temperature difference.

As for the matter/energy equivlance thing, any time additional energy is produced in a system, some matter is lost in the process. When chemical energy is involved (burning fuels, batteries, etc.) the amounts of energy produced are relatively small compared to something like an atomic bomb and when that small amount of energy is divided by C squared (90,000,000,000,000,000 m^2/s^2), the amount of lost matter is so small that there is absolutely no way of measuring it. We just don't have instruments that good. Likewise, when something is heated, it does indeed gain a small amount of mass but it's so very small that again we can't ever measure it.

Likewise for an object that is moving fast; in fact the increase in mass of a fast moving object is exactly the reason why no object, that has any mass at rest, can never be accelerated to the velocity of light (c). The faster it goes, the more massive it gets and therefore the more energy is required to accelerate it to even higher velocities. It's a snowball effect and according to the equations, the mass (and hence the energy) would be infinitely large at the speed of light. Since we could never supply infinite energy to any object, we can never accelerate it to the velocity of light.

So there is an absolute equivalence between all types of energy and matter. All types of energy: nuclear, heat, mechanical, chemical, etc. None excepted. Just don't try to measure it in everyday life.

06-02-2003, 01:07 PM
I think Albert is correct. The total mass/energy remains the same.
I find it facinating that matter and energy are diffrent forms of the same thing, convertible from one to the other.

I am unaware of any change in mass as a spring is compressed or released, just that the kinetic energy is converted to heat, like the decaying bounce of a ball. It's interesting to note that a shock absorber is just a kinetic to thermal energy converting device.

06-02-2003, 01:51 PM
I'll note this again for the last time. The only way mass can be converted to energy is through mechanism known as "mass defect". All other energy conversion is energy to energy.

All chemical reactions conserve mass. This is one of the fundamental laws of chemistry, one that has withstood scrutiny from science, including quantum physics and theorical physics. No instrument can measure change in mass, because there is NO change to measure.


06-02-2003, 02:13 PM
This is a great discussion. I've been interested in atomic physics since I was a kid. My father worked with atomic weapons during the Korean War (well before my time.) It doesn't matter of course how many people weigh in on one side or the other because the correct answer doesn't depend on how many agree with you. So I'll chime in here too. The question is whether the E=MC^2 theorem implies that mass is changed any time energy is exchanged or whether it only applies to atomic reactions where some matter is actually converted to energy directly. I still think that the latter is correct and that in chemical reactions the "conservation of mass" theorem is applicable. However the gravitational effects of objects with great kinetic energy, like something approaching the speed of light doesn't seem to fit the energy/mass model, because in this case the energy is increasing and so is the gravitational effect (which I guess is the same as an object with increasing mass), instead of the inverse relationship where mass is decreasing and energy increasing. Obviously I am missing something. There are some great minds here and I wouldn't be surprised if one or two nuclear scientists aren't ready to chime in. Thanks to all.

06-02-2003, 03:12 PM
I'm new here but have been lurking for a bit. My father used to work at the Berkeley Rad Lab and I used to hang out there with him and audit the occasional physics lecture. When a battery is charged energy is "pumped" into the battery thereby rearranging the chemical structure of the compounds in the battery to a higher energy state. If we accept that mass and energy are equivalent, then the battery must gain mass as it gains energy. Conversely, it must lose mass as energy is extracted from it when it is discharging. That energy is leaving the battery to do work elsewhere, to ultimately end up as heat. Incidentally, "mass defect" aka "mass deficit", is not a mechanism. It describes the difference in mass of the constituent nucleons that make up an atom vs the mass of an atom made up of those nucleons. The difference is the binding energy of the nucleons in the atom.

06-02-2003, 03:39 PM
I think we need to clarify the term "mass". There is actually two definitions, which describe two different aspect of matter. First is the "resistance to motion" and the second is "gravitational effect on body". The two are very different concepts but they are unfortunately used frequently without distinction. The later is an intrinsic quality of matter, while the former is relativistic in nature.

The idea that mass increases as you increase speed relates to the "resistance to motion" and not gravity. In other words, as you speed up (getting close to the speed of light), your gravitational attraction to distant stars does not change. What does change is the force required to acclerate you. To the rocket that's pushing you faster and faster, it "seems" like you're getting more massive.

Using this same argument, when an object is heated the particles move around faster and this does increase the "relativistic mass" of the particles infinitesimally (since we're no where near the speed of light). This does not however mean that we have more "mass" so that the earth now exherts a greater gravitational force. The scale would read the same. There has been no "mass to energy" or "energy to mass" conversion here, and E=mc^2 does not enter in.

I agree that "mass defect, is not a mechanism" in a sense that it's is some how the agent or means by which the mass is lost. I merely meant that, that is what explains the loss of mass when mass is converted to energy.

Think about my capacitor analogy and it should be clear that higher potential energy does not mean more mass. A charged battery weights the same as discharged battery.

As far as I know, binding energy as it relates to mass defect (aka E=mc^c), applies only to nucleus (strong force) and has not been demonstrated with weaker electromagnetic binding energy (chemical).


[This message has been edited by Rotate (edited 06-02-2003).]

06-02-2003, 04:51 PM
I am sorry, but that is incorrect. If you accept that Einstein was right, then mass and energy are equivalent. There are not two kinds of mass or two definitions of mass. When matter is accelerated it gains mass and does indeed gain gravitational attraction to the rest of the universe. Inertia, "resistance to motion", is a fundamental property of matter which increases in proportion to mass. The kinetic energy added to matter as it is accelerated is very real and is why bullets work. The bottom line is that adding energy to a system increases the mass. It is for this exact reason that it is not possible to acclerate matter to the speed of light, the mass becomes infinite, requiring infinite energy to accelerate. The effect is not readily measured under non-relativistic conditions since the amount of energy we are talking about in every day experience make an insignificant amount of matter. The explosion of an atomic bomb only converts a few grams of matter to energy. Photons for example are often referred to as massless. This is incorrect. The correct statement is that photons have no rest mass. They do have mass according to their energy level, which is why a solar sail can work. The "mass defect", as I said, is the difference between the mass of the nucleons separately as compared to bound in an atom. The binding energy makes up the difference. The only mechanisms that can release this energy are fission, fusion and spontaneous decay of radionucleotides. These mechanisms are not in play in a ordinary battery. In the case of a battery the binding energy of atoms to each other in molecules is where the energy put into the battery is stored. This is released when the battery is discharged. Since energy is put into the battery and kept there the battery must have greater mass when charged as opposed to discharged.

Spin Doctor
06-02-2003, 04:52 PM
One has to remember Robert Anson Heinlien' Axium "There's no such thing as a free lunch". That said Anti-Gravity Devices have existed for years. I personally have 7 in my house and Garage that i can think of. They go buy the names of Stairs and Ladders. They are Anti-Gravity Devices simply because they can be used to raise a mass in a gravity field."rolleyes"

06-02-2003, 06:51 PM

You can believe whatever you please, but the common understanding is that photon does not have mass (it's path is curved by stars not because of mass to mass attraction but because the space is curved by the mass of the star), however it has momentum which indeed can be experimentally measured. "Rest mass of photon" is a meanless notion. It's like asking what is the mass of the wind when it's not moving? Wind doesn't exist when it's not moving. Photon is an electromagnetic radiation by another name which we have given because it exhibits particle like behaviour at a higher energy level, however it is nothing more than a propagation of electrical and magnetic field, which by definition must be in motion.

You say that "In the case of a battery the binding energy of atoms to each other in molecules is where the energy put into the battery is stored". Binding energy of electromagnetic force (chemical) unlike Strong force has not been proven to affect mass.

I think the folks who perpetuate the myth of "free energy" and "cold fusion" often site Einstein's theory and use scientific equations out of context to prove their point. All I can say is, speak to a local physics professor and get his opinion on this matter. I say opinion, because that is what you'll get.

Thank you all for your interesting repartee. It's been fun thinking about this.


BTW the distinction of two different notions of mass was presented by Einstein himself in one of his papers.

[This message has been edited by Rotate (edited 06-02-2003).]

06-02-2003, 07:55 PM
Einstein's basic postulate is that matter and energy are the same, just two sides of the same coin. Therefore if it is energy it has mass. Yes, of course the notion of rest mass of a photon is meaningless as a photon cannot be at rest. Since a photon has energy it therefore has mass (of momentum). The mass of the wind is also a meaningless concept. When energy is stored in a battery it is not converted to matter, that is not necessary. Energy is matter, matter is energy.

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 06-02-2003).]

06-02-2003, 09:02 PM
Many, (probably very few on this thread) confuse "weight" and "mass". Weight changes with an objects distance from a gravitational field. "Inertial mass" does not change. It takes the same effort to push a book off a table on earth as it does on the moon for example.

Energy and inertial mass are not the same. They are different forms of the same thing; interchangeable. Frequently there is a difficulty with terminology in science, if things aren't put just right, with agreed upon terms, we don't always understand one another as well as we might.

Light has always confused me. It is said that a pound of sunlight hits the earth every day. But if light has mass...??? I will have to review this subject again soon, you guys have gotten me thinking -again!

There seems to be some intelligent folks on this BBS!


[This message has been edited by Joel (edited 06-03-2003).]

06-03-2003, 12:16 AM
I hold to the proposition that chemical reactions can be exothermic or endothermic and yet there be no change in the mass of all the elements of the reaction. If you have 1 mole of gold, don't you have avagadro's number of molecules? Doesn't each molecule have a signature molecular weight? If you heat it or cool it you still have the same number of molecules and the same total weight. Regardless of the reaction, whether it is dynamite or paper burning or any chemical reaction you can calculate the limiting reagent and whatever the reaction is the molecular weight of the product must equal the molecular weight of what you started with. The only exception to this rule that I know of is in nuclear reactions. Here also the reaction can be calculated and as far as I know it is the only time in reactions that the E=MC^2 relationship comes into play. If I add energy to a pool of water by stirring it, the mass doesn't change. And I disagree with a prior post that said that energy and mass were the same, of course being equivalent in one context is not being the same. They are very different in that one is real physically and the other we can only try to model in a way we can try to understand.
I had to correct something. I remembered last night that metals don't form molecules but are just atoms in a crystal lattice. See if ya don't use all that book lernin ya lose it.

[This message has been edited by SJorgensen (edited 06-03-2003).]

06-03-2003, 01:06 AM
Ijust read the whole thread word for word, in one sitting, and all I can say is I have a splitting headache. Perhaps my brain has changed mass even. I just can't be sure anymore. Guys, I have to admit that you all lost me by about the third partical past the nucleus over on the left...

But something I do know. Somewhere in the posts was a comment about industrial heat loss recovery. Atlas-Copco brand industrial air compressors above a certin size have a kit that can be installed to recover waste heat and transfer it to wherever or whatever you want. We had these in a printing plant where I worked. In the summer the system pumped up to a couple of roof top fan cooled radiators to to assist in helping to keep the compressors cool. In the winter that same heat was diverted to baseboard heat around the plant. Worked like a charm! There, you can all return to your Mensa-esq topic of the day!

Herb Helbig
06-03-2003, 01:55 AM
Randy -

Thank you for the correction and clear explanation.

Here is a quote from Einstein's paper "Development of Our Conception of the Nature and Constitution of Radiation", Physikalische Zeitschrift 22, 1909. The translation may be found in "The World of Physics", Volume II by Jefferson Hane Weaver, et al., Simon and Schuster, ISBN:0-671-49930-0. It may convince Albert of the universality of the mass-energy relationship.

"Hence the inertial mass of a body is diminished by light emission. The emitted energy figures as part of the body's mass. We can draw the further conclusion that every absorption and emission of energy goes with an increase or decrease, respectively, of the mass of the body concerned."


06-03-2003, 03:09 AM

Someone also noted heat recovery with SHCE's. Japanese government has had a program going for the last 30 years. They developed a self-contained Sterling engine that powers a 750W DC dynamo (contained in a capsule with output leads). These were available to any company wishing to use them. I used to have the site, but it changed and I can no longer find it.


You are basing your comments on a poor understanding of the subject. Can you come up with Einstein's e=mc^2 formula from well known physics formulae yourself? If you cannot, you do not even have the basic understanding of the workings of the formula, nor the concept. We were required to do this in my high school physics classes using data from Robert Milikens(sp) oil drop experiments.

This would still not give you a thorough grounding in general or special relativity and certainly not quantum mechanics - it will however give you more respect for what Einstien accomplished with a very poor mathematics background.

One very special chemical reaction that changes the compounds structure and function is a "Quantum Chemical Reaction". A specific example is the hormone used by plants to cause it to bloom from absorbtion in the red end of the visible light spectrum (the red light of sunsets/sunrise). It does not change the mass, but the photons cause work to be done by changing the hormone's physical structure and chemical properties. In this case, the wave/particle nature of light manifests itself in the form of a wave (energy).


What you said. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

06-03-2003, 04:48 AM
Tidal Power: I think quite feasible, but not in the same way that a Bay Of Fundy power unit would work.

Sterling Engines: Enormous possibilites here, as it is synergistic and compatible with photovoltaics and hot water heating systems.

The problems with all of the above is that big concentrations are ineffective. these are best distributed systems. They are also counter to established power ods, but they do not have to be. The utility company borrows money cheap on the premise that they have a strangehold on your wallet. I advocate disappointing them.

Low power systems have great promise, but to use them means integrating and co-existing with the grid. Who is motivated to make that happen? Not the utilities or government - remember that the government will always favor something that gives them more control over your everyday life.

06-03-2003, 06:43 AM
I've spent some time consulting some of my physics books including The Meaning of Relativity by Albert Einstein, Einstein's Theory of Relativity by Max Born, and my college physics text, Principles of Physics by F. Bueche. All of them derive E=mc^2 by analyzing kinetic energy, incorporating relativistic mass variance as given by the Lorentz transform. Nuclear reactions and the strong force do not enter into the derivation. In Einstein's book, immediately after deriving E=mc^2 he writes, "Mass and energy are therefore essentially alike; they are only different expressions of the same thing. The mass of a body is not constant; it varies with changes in its energy." The context of the statement is kinetic energy, not nuclear binding energy. And this quote from my physics text, "Einstein proved more than this however. He showed that {E=mc^2} applies to any form of energy. For example, if one increases the potential energy of an object, its mass increases in accordance with {E=mc^2}.”

The equation and mass/energy equivalency are usually associated with nuclear reactions, because that’s where they’re most striking, but they’re certainly not exclusive to nuclear reactions. Indeed, Isaac Asimov, in his book The History of Physics calculates the mass lost in burning a gallon of gasoline (strictly a chemical reaction) as 1/670,000 of a gram, an amount too small to notice unless you know to look for it. (And even then, you’d be hard pressed to measure it.) Also, it’s well to consider that Einstein came up with Special Relativity in 1905, long before the strong force was known, or anything about nuclear structure or reactions. Heck, it wasn’t until 1906 that Rutherford even began his experiments confirming the existence of the nucleus, which he completed in 1911. And Dave, Millikan conducted his oil drop experiments between 1909 and 1913, again, years after Special Relativity. It doesn’t relate. Furthermore, the strong force is a quantum mechanical beast, and relativity has nothing to do with quantum theory. There is simply no exclusive relationship between E=mc^2 and the strong force or nuclear reactions. It covers all forms of energy.

When a battery is charged, does it gain electrons? No. When a capacitor is charged does it gain electrons? No. But the electrons are more massive because they have more energy than in the discharged state. That’s one of the counterintuitive things about relativity. And of course the mass changes are so small they’re only academic, just as relativistic mechanics reduces to Newtonian mechanics at speeds we normally encounter. On the other hand, a proton being accelerated in a synchrotron gains kinetic energy, and its mass increases greatly, but it doesn’t multiply into more protons, nor does it gain mass by interacting with other protons, only the electromagnetic fields in the machine. Its increased mass is related solely to its increased energy, regardless of the source.

Lastly, my nuclear battery charger thought experiment comes from a book called Thinking Physics, by Lewis Epstien and Paul Hewitt, physics professors in San Francisco. Sadly, I’ve misplaced my copy, so I can’t quote from it. It would be enlightening.

This little study has me even more convinced that every change in energy has an attendant change in mass, however small. So even if I stretch a rubber band, in principle it becomes more massive, though the amount is strictly academic.

06-03-2003, 11:03 AM
Randy and Herb, thanks for doing the research that I did not have time to do yesterday. It obviously supports my contentions. I believe I have a fair understanding of Einsteins work although I don't pretend to be able to do his math (I do read German). As for Sir Thrud I pose a puzzle for you (and anyone else).

I remark that Einstein's General Theory, although exceedingly
robust, has been shown to be incomplete. It does not take into account such
things as the Cashmir Effect, a quantum mechanical principle that permits an
electron in very special circumstances to exceed the velocity of light.

I will not pretend to understand Einstein's mathematics, I am not good at
rationalizing infinities. However, the basic concepts do not require math to
understand. Einstein's theories were accepted, in part, because he explained
them so well that even those without the necessary math skills were able to
grasp his theories.

Einstein was particularly fond of what he called a "thought experiment". In
his explanation of the General Theory he refers to a "man in a chest" (read
elevator) being drawn at a constant rate by an never ending force, that is,
the elevator is being accelerated at a constant rate. He further postulates
that the man within the "chest" cannot perform any experiment that will
permit him to distinguish that he is in an accelerating frame of reference
rather than in a gravitational well created by matter. Einstein specifically
makes reference to a body suspended from a hook on the ceiling of the
"chest" by a rope. This constitutes a pendulum.

When the pendulum in the accelerating frame of reference is swung it will
have a period that is determined by the length of the rope and the degree of force caused
by the acceleration of the closed frame of reference (the elevator). In the
spirit of Einstein we shall ignore friction, internal heating of the fibers
of the rope etc. We concern ourselves with only the elements of the problem
that are relevant to the Theory.

Here follows what may be a flaw in Einstein's theory, or, is it not a flaw, and if
not, please explain why.

The pendulum in the elevator experiences the exact same degree of
accelerational force at all points in its swing. It describes an arc as it
swings. At the end of the arc it is closer to the "roof" of the elevator
than when it is at the mid-point of the swing, yet the force due to
acceleration is exactly the same at all points within the closed frame of reference.

When a pendulum swings in a gravitational field this is not the case. We
imagine the "chest" as resting on the surface of a gravitational body so
that the pendulum "feels" exactly one gee gravity at the mid-point of the
swing. Since gravity is created as a consequence of the existence of matter
and agglomerations of matter take a spherical shape when present in large
quantities, the pendulum experiences a different gravitational force when it
is at the ends of the arc as opposed to the force experienced at the
mid-point. Gravity decreases as the inverse square of distance from the body
that produces the field. At the ends of the arc of the pendulum it is
further from the centre of the gravitational mass and therefore experiences
less gravitation. Einstein was well aware of this. It would seem that the
pendulum swinging in the gravitational well should have a slightly longer
period. Does it?

If the elevator is accelerating at one gee and the gravitational field is
one gee there appears to be a discrepancy in the forces "felt" by the
pendulum in the two frames of reference. Yet Einstein postulates there is
none. Why is this so?

The answer may be expressed in a couple of sentences.

06-03-2003, 01:13 PM
Randy, your quote.
E=mc2 or m=E/c2 tells us how much mass loss, m, must be suffered by a nuclear reactor in order to generate a given amount of energy, E.
The same equation also tells us how much mass loss, m, must be suffered by a flashlight battery when the flashlight puts out a given amount of energy, E.
If the mass-energy equation, E-mc2, applies to any one form of energy, such as nuclear energy, then it must apply to to every kind of energy, including battery energy. It is not hard to see why. Seal a nuclear reactor and a battery in a box. Nothing can enter or leave the box. Now let the reactor put out electrical energy and let that electrical energy be put into the battery. As the reactor puts out energy it must lose mass. But no mass can get out of the sealed box. So where could the reactor's lost mass be? The only other place it could be is in the battery. So the battery gains mass as it gains energy, and the battery loses mass as it puts out its energy. Whatever receives the battery's energy also receives some of the battery's mass.

06-03-2003, 01:24 PM
As Joel said.

06-03-2003, 05:39 PM
Many years ago, I worked with an electronics genius. He developed a lot of the technology used in the cable TV trade. So to say he is well off is an under statement.

But back when he wasn't so well off, he purchased a giant magnet from Edmund Scientific. It was circular in shape and was rather heavy. His electric meter was on the outside wall behind his refrigerator, so he put the magnet there. This of course slowed the meter down. So with all of the nuclear science that has been discussed and concepts of electrophysics, it's still handy to have a catalog from Edmund Scientific.


06-03-2003, 06:03 PM
I believe you can get the same effect with a pair of iron balls connected by a bent iron rod so that they are on either side of the meter. Quite a bit more obvious though.

06-03-2003, 08:29 PM
The idea that anything that stores energy increases in mass by doing so I find hard to accept. The E=MC^2 theorum works great for the conversion of matter to energy this has been well proven in atomic bombs and reactors. But to say that the total mass is reduced anytime that any energy is released from an object is to say that E=MC^2 applies to all reactions and implys that all reactions are nuclear reactions. I can't agree with that. Also to say that as the battery fills with energy it gains mass is to say that some matter is being created. That the energy is converting to matter. I agree that this is implied by the E=MC^2 theorum but I think that the only time that mass has been spontaineously created (out of energy) was in the "Big Bang." If matter (mass) is being created in the battery then what determines what atoms will be created?
I may have to do some more reading.

Herb Helbig
06-03-2003, 08:52 PM
Evan -

Einstein was calling attention to the equivalence of a uniform gravitational field and a reference frame under constant acceleration. The fact that there are no truly uniform gravitational fields is a detail - like friction.

Einstein's insight is equivalent to Newton's whose first law of mechanics says a body at rest or in uniform motion remains at rest or in uniform motion unless acted upon by a force. That there are no force free regions is a detail.

Another way to illustrate Einstein's equivalence is to drop the "chest" and note that the acceleration of free fall eliminates the gravity field; pendulum can't tell which way is up. But even in this case there really is a way for the poor guy in the "chest" to tell that he's not truly in empty space. The non uniformity of the gravity field results in tidal forces. If his height is greater than zero, his head will feel less force than his feet. If his breadth is greater than zero he will be pinched by the converging nature of the field. So consider a point person ...


06-03-2003, 08:58 PM
I think this discussion was about my fourth year in college. If we can convert energy to matter, we could make cheap gold and then everybody would be rich, I think this is along the lines of "Because of Nuclear Energy, Electricity will be Virtually Free."

I still like the magnet next to the meter method, cheap, easy and effective.


06-03-2003, 11:09 PM
People CAN convert energy to matter. It is done all the time, (particle accelerators). It's not cheap though. Besides, cheap gold would make no one rich.
Proper reasearch in, and use of, nuclear energy could make electricity much cheaper. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

06-03-2003, 11:51 PM

You are on the right track. There are two factors at work and it is not a trick. The answers are completely consistent with the General theory.


Einstein was not talking about subatomic binding forces. His theory deals with energy/matter equivalance. You are right. No new "matter" is created in a battery when it is charged. No new atoms are created. The energy itself is where the added mass is. Electrons are raised to higher energy orbits. The existing matter is made more massive. Energy is a form of matter that is extremely "thin" compared to ordinary matter. The speed of light squared is a BIG number. That is the ratio of the "density" of energy vs matter. The amount of mass that a car battery gains when charged is infinitesimal, but it exists.

06-04-2003, 01:25 AM
The "ratio of the density of energy vs matter", a very interesting and lucid way to put it.

So, if the battery gains mass... Is it not theorized, that if a particle is brought to absolute zero, it no longer exists? Is this because it is brought to so low an energy level, it loses mass until it's gone.

C2, a big number indeed. The huge amount of energy required to create a particle for a fraction of a second, and the tiny amount of matter required to level a city, it's amazing. We tend to think of this mass in the quantities used with the atomic bombs in WW2, but that was a very inefficient conversion. Matter-anti matter reactions are 100% efficient. Much, more bang for the buck.

Paul Gauthier
06-04-2003, 08:19 AM
I can't say if the idea is patented or not but it is in use. If I remember right in the Netherlands it has been in use for many years. It seems they are always doing something creative with tides.

Paul G.

06-04-2003, 09:13 AM
I'd love to explain it all to you all.. (actually gone over my head with the nuclear physics thing) But I got to go make some chips.. anodize some parts, pay the bills, fufill promises.

The hot thing right now is steam turbine generators, they are popping up across the south like ants. Satisfy the immediate demand, sell power. The coal plants are about legislated out of exisistance. (spelling sucks this morn) and we still need thier input into our nationwide grid.
The tidal thing, well I see it like the racoon mountain project, A large battery for demand. Kinda like letting the steam turbines rest. Problem with temporary power like the demand satisfying steam turbines is, they run, then we depend on them, then, they don't.. brown-outs in the USA future.

And then in California, they sued the local utilities for monopolization. They won thier court case and was able to sell power at what the utilities could produce it for, even though they did not produce power themselves. They just bought it from the utility and resold it. It nearly bankrupted the utility companies out there.

I want to "not produce" and "not invest" and still have the right to "make money" too. They should have hanged the judge, (about 50 percent of the ones on the bench)

06-04-2003, 11:53 AM
Here is an excerpt from this web page:


There are other minor contributions to power generation such as tidal power, in which a head of water is created by the rise and fall of the tide. A plant on the Rance River in France now produces some 0.3 GW from the 44-foot tidal difference of the English Channel tides. The total world potential for tidal power is estimated at about 2000 GW, less than the potential for conventional hydropower, and development of tidal power will probably be slower and more difficult than the development of conventional hydropower.

06-04-2003, 05:41 PM
This has been a good read!!!!.
Now I suggest the proponnents of the various theories save the above for about fifty years and re-read. you can't all be right, maybe none of you are right. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

Reason i advise this is that what is being discussed involves the last few decimal places of theories. We juast can't measure mass etc as closely as needed.

Best example is can think of is Newton's statement that the planets sweep out equal volumes of space in eqal time. Then Mercury (planet) moves fast enough to show relativistic errors in newtons statement. But Old Newton had no idea that time, distance, mass were not variables. His rules were good for pretty long time, but for real nitpickers they are flawed in the last decimal places. E=M C C is also a simplification in the same manner.
Hang on to those arguments!. When I took high school you would have been kicked out of physics if you refused to re-gurgitate conservation of energy. same thing with conservation of mass. Wish I had some record of the things we discussed.

06-05-2003, 11:25 AM
The answers to the puzzle:

1: The force vectors in the two situations are not the same.

2: Time dialation is not the same in the two situations.


The force vector in the accelerating frame of reference is always vertical (rectilinear)
with respect to the pendulum, both at the ends of its arc and the mid-point.
This is not the case in the gravity well. The force vector in the well is radial
from the centre of the body. The force vector in the gravity well is *not* the
same and that radial vector component helps to equalize the period. This is not a relativistic effect, just geometry which Einstein probably thought obvious.

The flaw is not in the General Theory. Einstein did not formulate his
thought experiment entirely correctly. It does not take into account the
following factor although he was very well aware of it. It is a classic case
of over-simplification.

Time dialation.

Although inherently not verifiable due to simultaneity limitations,
Einstein's General Theory mandates that a gravitational field produces time
dialation directly proportional to the strength of the field. As the
pendulum swings further from the centre of gravity, it is less acted on by
gravity. This would result in a slower swing if it were not for the fact
that time accelerates by precisely the correct degree (unavoidable) as the
pendulum moves further out of the gravity well at the ends of the arc. This
does not happen in the accelerating frame of reference. Although time
dialation does occur to the accelerating frame it is equal and undetectable
at all points within the closed frame of reference.

So, bottom line: The periods ARE identical (within the limits of the General Theory).

06-05-2003, 04:10 PM
a bunch of old physics theories have been quoted. I think I read some where that the oil drop experiemnt data was falsified to get the result they "knew " must exist. And it is intersting that Maxwell's equations (as well as Einstiens) are so true despite niehter of them (nor any one else atthe time) having equipement to verifiy.

06-07-2003, 02:44 PM
With all of this wind going on here, could you all face towards Toronto. I would like to see the wind mill there go a little faster. That would be free electricity to the 250 home they claim are being powered by the wind mill.


06-07-2003, 08:09 PM
Toronto?? I have been there twice, for a total of five weeks. As far as I am concerned it is the armpit of Canada. It not only sucks, it blows.

06-07-2003, 08:51 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Evan:
Toronto?? I have been there twice, for a total of five weeks. As far as I am concerned it is the armpit of Canada. It not only sucks, it blows.</font>

Ah. Someone else that not been to Chicago for any length of time. Its called the "windy city" because of all the blowhard politicians. If i had the choice I'd rent out Chicago and live in Toronto.

06-08-2003, 12:26 AM
I have been to Chicago, but not recently. The Museum Of Science and Industry is outstanding, or at least it was 30 years ago.