The course of scientific discovery
(after David Deutsch)
|At 07:47 PM 2/25/03 -0600, you wrote:
You can easily spot what type of “critic” Collins is, by his snobbery and name-calling (the ad hominem attack), beginning with “crackpot” and other terms of like flavor. It is particularly amusing since he knows little physics, does not know the difference between efficiency and coefficient of performance, and does not realize that from any source of a finite potential intensity φ (phi), regardless of how small the value of φ, as much energy as one wishes can be collected, simply by W = φq, where W is the total energy collected from potential intensity φ by intercepting and collecting charges q. If one wishes to collect more energy W from the same potential φ, one simply needs more q. The reason is simple: the scalar potential is actually a bidirectional set of EM energy flows, as shown by Whittaker in 1903, and what is collected from it depends on the number of fundamental interceptor/collectors (called “charges”).
Let us look a bit at the content of the “learned criticism” by Collins.
What does the phrase “perpetual motion” actually mean (denotation, not emotionally distorted connotation?). It simply means “continuous motion”. Well, that is just Newton's first law; a body placed in motion remains in continuous (perpetual) motion until interacted upon by an external force to change it (Newton's second law). So to question “perpetual motion” itself, is to question Newton's first law. The last I knew, Newton's laws were still doing fine in the region to which they apply.
In short, the literal meaning of “perpetual motion” for a great many decades has been deliberately twisted into a non sequitur to imply that it literally means “continuous production of energy or work from nothing, i.e., without any energy input at all.” So this foolishness and violation of logic has been used to twist Newton's first law, with the claim that it is a statement of continuous production of energy or work from nothing. It is no such thing. Any moving object, once placed in motion in an inertial frame, continues indefinitely. And whatever kinetic energy it has to the lab observer, remains continuously. Simply kick a can out of the shuttle in deep space, and that proves it rather conclusively.
To show how long such total logical nonsense has been around, we quote Planck's “definition” or “explanation” of a “perpetual motion machine”.
Now examine Planck's first clause. It is a false premise, for it is falsified by Newton's first law. Again, that premise is falsified by simply ejecting something from an object moving in outer space. You immediately get perpetual (continuous) motion, until something external acts upon the ejected object to change its motion.
Now note Planck's second clause. This one is quite true! No one can construct, or—unless he is a fool—claims to have constructed an engine that continuously produces continuous work from nothing! I.e., one recognizes that the necessary energy input must be present. But what has that got to do with Newton's first law of perpetual motion until external force changes it? Nothing at all.
In short, Planck advances a false premise in the first clause. Then he advances a true statement in the second clause, implying that it therefore proves the false premise because they are the same—which is simply a logical non sequitur because they are not the same thing at all.
In an entire century, the skeptics of extracting energy from the vacuum have not progressed past Planck's statement (and its predecessors) containing a false premise and a logical non sequitur, and neither has Collins. He simply repeats the same false premise and same non sequitur.
Now observe Collins's profound assumption that a coefficient of performance (which is the useful energy output or work output divided by the energy that is input by the operator only) that is greater than 1.0 is impossible and would constitute a dirty old "perpetual motion machine" of the false premise kind he still advocates illogically. There went windmills, solar cells, heat pumps, water wheels, sail boats, gliders, etc. All are impossible by Collins' assumption.
Well, a windmill, a waterwheel, and a common solar cell all exist and have COP = infinity! The operator himself inputs zero energy input to each one of them, but all the energy required for the work output (and the losses due to inefficiencies) is indeed freely input by the environment. The EFFICIENCY of a system is defined as the useful energy or useful work output divided by ALL the energy that is input, whether by the environment, operator, or both. The efficiency of a common solar cell may be—e.g.—only 17%, which means it wastes some 83% of all the energy the environment freely inputs to it. However, the operator inputs nothing at all, so the COP = (the finite energy output of the system, i.e., 17% of the environment's energy input), expressed in joules per second, for example, divided by (the zero input of the operator), which yields a COP = infinity.
A common home heat pump usually will have an EFFICIENCY of 50% or less, but will have a nominal COP = 4.0 under nominal conditions; the extra energy is just extracted from the atmosphere. That is certainly not a "perpetual working machine with no energy input", but it also certainly has a working COP>1.0, which is why it is so widely used. It's CHEAPER if you get some of the necessary energy input from the environment, and—as in the case of the windmill—it's even cheaper if you get ALL of the necessary energy input freely from the environment.
A very high efficiency windmill, e.g., may have an efficiency of 55%, about tops. So it wastes 45% of the input wind energy, but does convert the other 55% into useful output energy or work. However, its COP = infinity, because again the operator inputs nothing at all, but gets out free work continuously from the unwasted energy that the environment inputs.
So yes, one can have a "free energy lunch" if the environment freely provides the energy, as it does for the windmill, solar cell, waterwheel, sailboat, charge, etc.
As can be seen, Collins has simply unleashed the typical diatribe of one who doesn't even know the difference between efficiency and COP, and seems unaware that COP >1.0 and even COP = infinity are perfectly achievable and permissible in thermodynamic machines, with physical examples common and already known. No laws of physics or thermodynamics are violated by COP >1.0 or COP = infinity, in spite of what Collins erroneously assumes.
Now let us turn the tables. We assume that Collins accepts common classical Maxwell-Heaviside EM taught at every university, and as taught in all electrical engineering departments, particularly with respect to electrical power engineering. Let me point out a terrible problem that used to be recognized, but was never solved and has just been swept under the proverbial rug because it is so terribly embarrassing. In that conventional EM and EE model, all observable EM fields, potentials, and their observable energy in space are said to come from and be produced by the associated source charge. But it is an experimental fact, easily shown, that no observable energy input is made to the charge in the real world, or in that classical and EE model. The classical model also does not contain or model an unobservable, virtual state EM energy input. So the current Maxwell-Heaviside EM model (and the current electrical engineering model) accepted in every university, every EE department, by every EE professor, and in every EE textbook, already implicitly assumes that the source charge freely creates and pours out real observable EM energy continuously, from nothing at all, thereby establishing and continuously replenishing its associated EM fields and potentials and their energy, spreading across the universe at light speed from the moment of presentation, assembly, or creation of the charge.
The greatest advocates in human history of "perpetual working machines with no energy input at all" are in fact those very same EE departments, professors, texts, and engineers—and the M-H classical electrodynamicists who do not include the active vacuum exchange with the charge and the asymmetry of that exchange.
In short, let us now hoist Collins on his own petard. So long as he accepts that standard Maxwell-Heaviside model and electrical engineering, he is guilty of unwittingly being a member of the huge class of giant advocates of perpetual working machines called source charges, freely creating energy from nothing at all, that he finds so abhorrent. Let him first pluck the mote from his own eye, for it is as big as a mountain. He is already guilty of accepting the standard model which assumes that every EM field, every EM potential, and every joule of EM energy in the universe is and has been created from nothing at all by the associated source charge(s).
Sen referred to this terrible hidden problem in electrodynamics and electrical engineering in this fashion:
There IS no solution to the problem in the usual M-H theory, because that model assumes an inactive vacuum and a flat spacetime. Hence it assumes a zero energy exchange between its INERT environment and the physical EM system. That has long been falsified in particle physics, particularly since the discovery and experimental proof of broken symmetry. It is also falsified by a series of rigorous AIAS papers dealing with energy from the vacuum, and taking into account, e.g., the curvature of spacetime. Sachs has long pointed out that one cannot even have an EM wave in space without the necessary spacetime curvatures (and oscillation of same). In other words, as has long been proven in physics, the environment of the physical EM system is not inert at all, but is active. Not only is there an energy exchange between that environment and the system, but there can also be an asymmetry in that exchange. Once the asymmetry is admitted (it's long since proven in particle physics), then EM systems producing COP>1.0 and even COP = infinity are perfectly permissible. That they have not previously been developed is a matter of self-limiting of the technology, not a law of nature or of physics. The standard closed current loop circuit, e.g., self-enforces Lorentz symmetrical regauging, hence prohibits COP>1.0 unless it is violated.
Today, in every university this "most difficult problem in electrodynamics"—the source charge problem—is concealed from the students, and even many professors seem no longer aware of it. The way it is hidden is as follows: They teach the subject of the charge and its associated fields and potentials in the following fashion: "We have here a charge. Associated with this charge are its fields and potentials, reaching across the universe." In short, ka-blam! One is given a source charge, and suddenly there are its associated EM fields and potentials and their energy, freely appearing out of nowhere, with no energy input at all. Automatically! That way, they slip it right by the students.
Simply try out that little statement. Suddenly create some charge, and with pre-placed instruments watch (along a radial line from the created charge) the fields and potentials appear progressively at points along that radial, at the speed of light. And once the field and potential suddenly appear at a distant point, they thereafter steadily remain. This shows that a stream of continuous real observable EM energy does indeed pour from the charge, once it is made, continuously and unceasingly. Further, that free stream of EM energy does not "die out" so long as the charge remains intact. So the associated fields and potentials are continuously replenished, as they continuously spread radially outward at light speed.
Unfortunately those steady state dynamic fields and potentials are referred to as "static fields", when in fact they are nonequilibrium steady state dynamic entities. Even the staid old Poynting theory will establish that a charged capacitor laid on a permanent magnet so that the E-field of the capacitor is at right angles to the H-field of the magnet, is somehow the seat of a dynamic and continuous flow (steady state flow) of EM energy. That too is a problem that has never been resolved in the Poynting theory. In that model, there is no input of energy to the two dipoles (charged capacitor and permanent magnet), hence there can be no energy output. But there is, including in a charged capacitor separately and a permanent magnet separately. This is assured by the proven broken symmetry of opposite charges, such as the poles of the magnet and the opposite plates of the capacitor. ANY such dipolarity—because of its broken symmetry of opposite charges—must then absorb virtual EM energy (virtual photons) from the vacuum, coherently integrate the virtual energy into observable photons, and re-emit real observable photons in all directions.
Any form of electrodynamics not modeling that virtual energy exchange between vacuum and charge, and the asymmetry in that exchange, thus can only model the charge's production of its associated fields and potentials as "perpetual working machines" freely and continuously creating EM energy out of nothing at all." And the conventional EM models do just that. In every university. In every electrical engineering department. In every electrical engineering textbook.
Oddly, in the 46 years since broken symmetry was experimentally proven by Wu et al. in 1957, and the Nobel Prize awarded to Lee and Yang the same year for having predicted broken symmetry very strongly, the fact that every charge and dipole—by their asymmetry in the vacuum flux exchange—freely extracts real EM energy from the vacuum and pours it out, has not made it across the university campus from the particle physics department to the electrical engineering department.
Particularly when the second AIAS paper on the MEG's permitted extraction of EM energy from the vacuum was submitted to Foundations of Physics Letters, a vigorous objection was quickly raised by a leading member of the Board of Directors of the corporation that owns the Foundations of Physics series of journals. The charge again was "perpetual motion machine". We answered that charge technically back then, and pointed out the Board Member's unwitting acceptance of the conventional model, already himself unwittingly assuming that every EM field, potential, and joule of energy in the universe has been freely created from nothing. We also explained what broken symmetry of opposite charges means, and how—when the quantum field theory view of an "isolated classical charge" is used—one can show a bare center charge clustered around by virtual charges of opposite sign. In short, the so-called "isolated charge" is a special dipolarity and charge structuring (polarization of the vacuum), exhibiting the broken symmetry of opposite charges. Hence that resolves the agonizing question of where the INPUT energy to the charge comes from, that the charge receives, integrates, and outpours as observable photons, to establish its associated fields and potentials, spreading across the universe in all directions at light speed from the moment of formation of the charge. The charge continuously absorbs virtual EM energy from the vacuum, and transduces it to observable energy, then re-emits it in all directions. No violation of the conservation of energy law is involved, if the environment's input of energy in strange form is accounted.
Thus by recognizing the continuous virtual energy input to the charge and the charge's continuous conversion of virtual energy absorbed into observable energy emitted, one saves the conservation of energy law. Otherwise—if the conventional M-H model were correct—the conservation of energy law would be already falsified by every charge and EM field and EM potential in the universe. That does not happen, and the conservation of energy law is perfectly safe, when one resolves the modeling difficulty. One just has to insist that the conventional model's assumption of creation of EM energy from nothing is a falsity, as can be experimentally proven and has been experimentally proven.
Fortunately the referees knew particle physics, and so they completely understood the explanation of the source charge problem and its proven solution in particle physics, still absent from classical Maxwell-Heaviside theory and electrical engineering. The referees accepted the rebuttal on very solid technical grounds, and accordingly the journal printed the article.
Collins and others like him would do well to first find out what their own accepted model already erroneously assumes. They would also do well to try to find out the difference between efficiency and coefficient of performance of an EM system. No one in his right mind advocates that the EFFICIENCY can be greater than 100%, for that would be a total violation of the conservation of energy law and an assumption that energy can be and is created from nothing at all. But certainly the COP can be greater than 1.0 and often is. COP>1.0 does not violate conservation of energy (contrary to Collins), but does require that the environment input some or all of the energy, so that the operator only inputs less than the effective output of the device.
The only people who do that kind of erroneous assumption of efficiency greater than 100% are Collins and others—lacking a knowledge of the difference between efficiency and COP—and using the same snobbish arguments, confusing the concept of perpetual (continuous) motion under Newton's first law as synonymous with the concept of a continuous working machine with no energy input (the two are not the same at all, and to imply that they are the same is a gross non sequitur and a failure to reason logically).
Collins entire tirade about crackpots and overunity (COP>1.0) being forbidden perpetual working machines with zero energy input simply reveals his ignorance of both physics and thermodynamics, and his failure to even realize that every charge, solar cell, windmill, and water wheel has COP = infinity, while a common heat pump will have a nominal COP of about 4.0.
To equate simple COP>1.0 in an EM system as being "forbidden perpetual working machines with zero energy input" is a total non sequitur, and characterizes Collins' entire tirade, which is emotional and ad hominem in nature and not substantive and scientific.