Can energy be produced without combustion? A simple question, the answer to which, has profound consequences for the future of mankind (under the term "combustion", I include both nuclear fission and fusion, as well as the more conventional forms of combustion). Owing to the controversy surrounding this subject, rather than simply diving into the math and physics, I will take the unusual step of prefacing my paper with a discussion of the historical and societal underpinnings of this debate. In part 2, we shall build a solid scientific foundation for the existence of anti-entropic devices, and in part 3 we shall apply these principals to inductive kickback generators such as the Tesla and Hendershot devices.
In the 19th century, James C. Maxwell, a British scientist, formulated his now famous set of 4 equations, the first complete description of electromagnetic interactions. For this contribution, he is celebrated in physics and history books around the world. This same gentleman also gave science a daemon. And since the dawn of the 20th century, scientists the world over have, almost without exception, vehemently denied the very existence of Maxwell's Daemon. These denials were not based on any experiment intended to discover the existence (or lack) of the daemon. Instead the scientists relied on circular logic, claiming the daemon could not exist, because it's existence would violate the very law of physics Maxwell hypothesized his daemon could circumvent.
For those who have little or no knowledge of Maxwell and his daemon, we'll start with a simple explanation of how the daemon works. Imagine a container filled with air, and divided by a thin partition into two separate compartments (A & B). There is a small hole in the partition, and an equally small trap door covering the hole. The hole is just large enough, that when the door is opened, single air molecules can move through the hole, thereby passing from one compartment, into the other. Now suppose we have a tiny intelligent being (the daemon) who opens and closes the door, based on a simple set of rules:
Over time, compartment B will accumulate a majority of fast moving air molecules, and compartment A will accumulate a majority of slow moving air molecules. In thermodynamic terms, compartment B will become hotter, and compartment A will become colder. In other words, through the actions of the daemon, a temperature difference will arise, where none existed before. It would seem that Maxwell's daemon has just broken the second law of thermodynamics, which states "In any cyclic process, the entropy (disorder) must either increase or remain the same".
Scientists, Experiments, Laws, and Theories:
Newton's _____ of gravitation. Einstein's ______ of relativity. Fill in the blanks please. According to Google, there are 34,900 web pages listed for "Newton's law" of gravity, and 7,580 web pages listed for "Newton's theory" of gravity. Again, according to Google, there are 44,300 web pages listed for "Einstein's theory" of relativity, and only 869 web pages listed for "Einstein's law" of relativity. Why is it "Newton's Law", but "Einstein's Theory"? Is Newton's law any more valid than Einstein's theory? Just the opposite is true. Einstein's theory of relativity is a more accurate description of physical reality, than Newton's so called law of gravity. The dichotomy arises because humans have a built in bias or predisposition as to what they expect, based on their past experience. What Newton described is what most humans experience AS reality. What Einstein described is counter intuitive, and NOT at all what most humans experience AS reality. Scientists being human, are also subject to predisposition in their outlook. A classic example is the Michelson-Morley aether drift experiments of the early 20th century. The experiments were conducted many times, over a number of years, using ever more complex apparatus, always with a negative outcome, until Michelson & Morley were finally forced to the conclusion that aether drift did not exist. A result in direct contradiction to what they expected, and what was widely believed by most scientists of the time. In many respects, the controversy surrounding the so called second law of thermodynamics parallels the aether drift, in that a majority of contemporary scientists believe it to be absolute, and therefore unbreakable. The simple truth is that ALL scientific principals are theories, NOT laws, and therefore subject to revision at any time, based solely on experimental results.
Harnessing the Daemon:
In the 19th century world of James C. Maxwell, a daemon was the only imaginable entity capable of the feats he envisioned. Today, at the dawn of the 21st century, most people own coffee pots and alarm clocks with more innate intelligence than Maxwell's Daemon. Further, most industrialized nations have manufacturing facilities capable of fabricating devices on a molecular scale. Can we of the 21st century build a daemon as Maxwell envisioned? Unlikely, for a whole host of reasons. However, this inability does not, in and of it self, invalidate Maxwell's hypothesis. Lets rephrase the question. Can we construct a device that will act as a one way trap door accumulator/coherer of heat (thermal energy)? The answer is a resounding YES. A laser is just such a device. A photovoltaic solar cell is another device. A laser converts incoherent (random) energy into coherent (ordered) energy, and in doing so, raises the effective temperature of the output beam well beyond even the temperature of the Sun. The mechanism that creates this daemon like energy trap door, is called a population inversion, and will be discussed at length in the second part of this paper. Next, consider a photovoltaic cell. It converts Sun light (disordered energy) directly into a flow of electric current (ordered energy). Again, a daemon like one way energy trap door is involved in the conversion process. A photovoltaic cell is nothing more than a solid state rectifier (generally made of silicon) that has been optimized to collect light. ALL solid state rectifiers will, to varying degrees, cohere both light and heat. In the case of heat, the phenomena is called thermal carrier injection or thermal tunneling, and results in what is known as shot noise. In most applications, this phenomena is considered detrimental, and is minimized by device design.
The Anti-Daemonic Rebuttal:
Those that would argue against the existence of Maxwell's Daemon will be quick to point out that examples cited in 1.2.1 while appearing to break the second law locally, do indeed obey the law globally. They will say yes, entropy is lowered locally by the photovoltaic cell, but this is more than offset by the increase of entropy in the Sun, created by nuclear fusion. In other words, they would redraw the boundary of the experiment to include the Sun, thereby avoiding any paradox between their view point and the experimental result. In the case of the laser, a similar redrawing of the boundary to include the power plant supplying the laser alleviates the paradox. All fine and good, however… Why not adopt the same redefinition of boundary with respect to Maxwell's original daemon hypothesis? Where did the kinetic (thermal) energy of the air molecules residing in the container (1.1.3) come from in the first place, if not from the Sun? Is this reluctance to acknowledge the existence of Maxwell's Daemon, another example of scientific predisposition? (1.1.4)
That working examples of anti-entropic devices already exist (1.2.1). That these devices make use of natural or engineered "trap door" phenomena identical in concept to Maxwell's original daemon hypothesis (1.1.3 & 1.2.1). That any anti-entropic device may be made fully compliant with the second law (theory) of thermodynamics by the simple expedient of redefining the experiment boundary (1.2.2). That scientists, being human, are subject to the same predispositions of view point as any other human (1.1.4). There are NO scientific laws, only theories to which, an experimental counter example, has yet to be discovered (1.1.4).
Magneto Thermodynamics - Part 1