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# Argh! It never ends!
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 14:48, archived)
# are you dave gorman
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 14:49, archived)
# page 11
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 14:50, archived)
# paragraph 2
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 14:50, archived)
# miiiiiindpiss
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 14:51, archived)
# What are you
Stouffering about?
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 14:51, archived)
# the book 'are you dave gorman'
page 11 paragraph 2

'...We talked about all sorts of things...[bunch of things]...we established that a slinky on an up escalator would be in a state of perpetual motion...[bunch of other things]...'
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 14:54, archived)
# Ah, okay.
Although it wouldn't be perpetual motion since the escalator would be powered, thus adding energy into the system...
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 14:57, archived)
# so...
does perpetual motion mean that energy can't be added?
My dad says perpetual motion can't be achieved because it has to start somewhere so at one point it was stopped meaning it wasn't perpetual (it makes more sense in my head)
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 15:00, archived)
# Perpetual motion is a system whereby,
once it has been started, it never - EVER - stops, despite no energy being added to the system.

This violates the second law of thermodynamics, and the laws of entropy, and is quite clearly impossible. /science pedant
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 15:03, archived)
# right
I believe you because in my experience you should always believe a pedant
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 15:05, archived)
# That should read:
"...quite clearly impossible <according to the second law of thermodynamics>".

Just because something has not been observed, does *not* mean it cannot exist.

/antiscience pedant
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 15:05, archived)
# This could turn into
the Geekiest argument in the world ever
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 15:08, archived)
# But the second law of thermodynamics
has been observed. It's all around us. It's been confirmed by empirical experiments time after time. There's never been one case where entropy's suddenly reversed itself [start of the universe excepted, physical laws broke down then].

Just because something has never observed, doesn't mean it ever will be.
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 15:16, archived)
# But the fact that something has been observed
doesn't mean it can be applied to the rest of the universe ad-infinitum. No matter how many times it's been observed.

I can walk down the street and see lots of red post boxes, but it doesn't mean when I turn the corner there won't be a blue one*.

I can also look at my clock at 1000 random intervals throughout my day and *NEVER* see it at 8:42. That doesn't mean it never shows 8:42.

*Admitedly, it's not bloody likely, but to rule it out is just arrogant.

And I totally agree with you that it doesn't mean that it *will* be just because it hasn't been observed. I just like to reserve the fact that it *could* be. It's a personal "get under my skin" thing when people say "it can't happen because of this law".
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 15:22, archived)
# That's a really, really bad example.
Firstly, you could look at every postbox in the country and see whether there was a blue one. There's not? Well, then you won't find a blue one. And you can watch a clock for 24 hours and see how many times it shows 8:42.

I accept the fact that there is a near-infinitely small chance that the laws of thermodynamics will be found to be invalid. Or that gravity will suddenly reverse itself. Or that electrons will suddenly become positive, thus ending the universe as we know it. Or that a booming voice will suddenly come from everywhere at once, saying "Hello, I'm God, sorry I forgot about you all." Quantum physics, if I remember rightly, allows for things like that to technically be possible.

But for crying out loud, it's not going to. If you experiment a billion times, the laws of thermodynamics will still hold true. The odds are that small. A perpetual motion machine would require those laws to be violated for ETERNITY. Beyond the end of the universe, beyond the time at which everything ends. Now are you really going to sit there and say that's possible?
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 15:35, archived)
# Ok, so you *can* observe every post box and draw the conclusion
that there are *no* blue ones, but that's partially my point - there's no way you can ever observe everything that's observable and therefore come to the conclusion that the second law cannot be broken.

In your own words, they've been broken before - during the big bang - who knows what set of circumstances just need to come together for the *next* break which would launch a whole new paradigm shift and replacement set of laws. There have been many theories during history that have been taken as gospel, without question. To do the same with quantum mechanics, to accept it as unbreakable, is doing science a great disservice.

If someone *did* create a perpetual motion machine, all they'd do is add a footnote to the second law anyway.

besides, it's been a lifelong quest of mine to create a perpetual motion machine - second law be damned!
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 16:56, archived)
# "There have been many theories during history that have been taken as gospel, without question."
Yep. Like the theory that the Earth is flat, that insects spring up from dirt, and illness is caused by miasma. But none of these are scientific, and if you actually try to test them, you'll discover they don't work! They were all replaced by better, more proven theories.

I'm not saying the second law of thermodynamics is absolutely, 100% perfect and true. Neither's the theory of gravity, or of anything. There's always a chance someone might come up with a better explanation.

But a perpetual motion machine is impossible. Eventually, entropy will catch up with it, even if it takes 'til the heat death of the universe.
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 17:23, archived)
I saw a blue postbox once. can't remember where - might have been on the Isle of White...

..if that helps
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 19:38, archived)
# ah-HA
Case closed!

Now if I could just get the patent office to accept my application for perpetual motion machine, and avoid all the hitmen from the large oil companies, I'm on to a winner!
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 20:03, archived)
# Guernsey
probably. All postboxes are blue, coz Guernsey Post went independant from Royal Mail in 1969 and wanted to be different.
I live there, and also work for Guernsey Post.

not that anyone reeeaally cares about all that - just thought I'd help.
(, Sun 7 Sep 2003, 23:36, archived)
# I still hold that
the current theory of the universe is just part of, certainly not the end link, of a chain of theories.

The flat earth and centre of the universe theories were founded using the same scientific principles as todays theories. It's only the fact that we've now proven, due to more research and observation, that they were not only wrong, but quite nieve.

You can only prove that things cannot break the second law of thermodynamics if you use that law to prove it. It's a circular argument that has no answer.

I think we're arguing the same thing. I agree with you that the second law isn't likely to be broken by conventional means. I just don't like using theories as absolutes.
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 20:54, archived)
# there is a
field of philosophy (field= grass is greener) which portrays science as the modern religion - ie *100% of FACT* as seen through calculatable data - if you THEN perceive this data through several stella and an undisclosed alcoholic beverage there has been a noticable trend to piss in the metaphorical wardrobe...
so to speak
er... in short - perception - thank god for beer!!
(, Sun 7 Sep 2003, 0:59, archived)
# *attempts to read that*
*brain hurts*
*attempts to understand it*
*brain overheats*
(, Sun 7 Sep 2003, 7:48, archived)
# Ha ha ha

I think..
(, Sun 7 Sep 2003, 18:32, archived)
# I have consulted my books
and you're right...I'm impressed
and also quite scared by the geekyness
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 14:52, archived)
# I just read it
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 14:54, archived)
# I can't believeI
I bothered going upstairs and digging the book out to check that.
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 14:56, archived)
# I only had to stand up
The book is on a shelf just in front of me
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 14:56, archived)
# that is incredibly
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 14:49, archived)
# that is
EDit: that should be FP
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 14:49, archived)
# I'd like the number
for a restaurant in Kenya please. ;)
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 14:53, archived)
# 38
You want the number to find out philosophical thoughts?
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 14:57, archived)
# Oooh yes please!
Will that cost extra?
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 14:59, archived)
# nah, just for you its free
number is...
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 15:00, archived)
# I thunk therefore
I are. Wow it really works.

Hang on my phone bill is £300! I thought the second number was free?
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 15:03, archived)
# no the 3rd number was free
the first was £0.25p
The second was £299.75p
connections to kenya aren't cheap, you know.
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 15:12, archived)
# that
is a work of genius.

i take my hat off to you.
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 14:49, archived)
# do y'know,
I'm going to have to try that somewhere.
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 14:49, archived)
# Very woo!
At heathrow waiting for a flight to Italy, see you in a week...
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 14:50, archived)
# Perpetual motion
it climbs down stairs alone or in pairs everyone knows it's slinky
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 14:50, archived)
# WoooOOoo
That's brilliant.
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 14:51, archived)
# That's pwetty, and very woo!
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 14:51, archived)
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 14:53, archived)
# yes, dammit, YES.
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 14:53, archived)
# Hi
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 14:53, archived)
# HI
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 14:55, archived)
# Ditto
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 14:55, archived)
# That's brilliant!
Kicks the arse out of my attempt at an escalator.
Woo yay!
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 14:54, archived)
# woo
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 15:12, archived)
# It might never end
but it is very good :)
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 15:45, archived)
# Belatedly Brilliant
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 16:13, archived)
# I have tried this at my local mall..
and it doesn't work. It was a big disappointment.
(, Sat 6 Sep 2003, 19:57, archived)
# Now, that is a fine
Piece of work, well worth a

PS, I know it doesnt work, will do soon (hopefully)
(, Sun 7 Sep 2003, 22:50, archived)