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Old 10-25-2010, 05:52 PM   #121
Krystian Galaj
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You can't have a perpetual motion machine because the second law of thermodynamics forbids it.
The second law of thermodynamics is a probabilistic law though. It doesn't mean that perpetual motion machines are impossible by design, but only that a chance of any such machine being kept in motion by random movements of particles until the end of the Universe is so small it shouldn't be taken into account, ever. It's not impossible though.
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Old 10-26-2010, 04:07 PM   #122
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Well, yes. But by the same token all the air molecules in the room could coincidentally move to the far side of the room, suffocating you. But nobody is going to worry about it.

The point is "Never say 'never', say 'highly unlikely' instead"
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Old 10-26-2010, 04:44 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by nyrath View Post
Well, yes. But by the same token all the air molecules in the room could coincidentally move to the far side of the room, suffocating you. But nobody is going to worry about it.

The point is "Never say 'never', say 'highly unlikely' instead"
I have a button I bought at an sf convention which uses that phrase of air molecules simultaneously all moving to one side of the room. Don't remember the exact phrasing though.
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Old 10-26-2010, 08:56 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by nyrath View Post
Well, yes. But by the same token all the air molecules in the room could coincidentally move to the far side of the room, suffocating you. But nobody is going to worry about it.

The point is "Never say 'never', say 'highly unlikely' instead"
For that matter, there's no reason why I couldn't walk through a wall. If all the atomic particles in my body and all the atomic particles in the wall just happened to be aligned just right, it could happen.

But I'm not going to try the experiment any time soon. The odds against its success are astronomical.
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Old 10-27-2010, 04:23 AM   #125
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Originally Posted by WT Sharpe View Post
For that matter, there's no reason why I couldn't walk through a wall. If all the atomic particles in my body and all the atomic particles in the wall just happened to be aligned just right, it could happen.

But I'm not going to try the experiment any time soon. The odds against its success are astronomical.
I think that electromagnetic repulsion between the electrons would, even if the atom nuclei were aligned perfectly, inhibit you walking through walls. However, were you to run at the wall with a sufficiently high impulse, you would have the chance of quantummechanically tunneling through the wall. Mind you, the chances still would be slim, and, depending on the thickness of the wall, you would come through exponentially diminished
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Old 10-27-2010, 07:28 AM   #126
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Could you please describe what you mean by "put forward a scientifically meaningful proposal"?

Is this an issue of form, content, or guild membership?

(When I first pointed this potential loophole out, it was in the context of providing a S/F writer a undisproven excuse for a FTL drive for a story, which seem to vastly offend several other people here.)
Just to follow up on this a bit with this info I just ran across:

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/co...ity-checklist/

on a lighter note :
http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/crackpot.html
http://insti.physics.sunysb.edu/~siegel/quack.html

Additional:

How to be a good physicist:
http://www.phys.uu.nl/~thooft/theorist.html

How to be a bad physicist:
http://www.phys.uu.nl/~thooft/theoristbad.html


Enjoy!
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Old 10-27-2010, 09:29 AM   #127
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I think that electromagnetic repulsion between the electrons would, even if the atom nuclei were aligned perfectly, inhibit you walking through walls. However, were you to run at the wall with a sufficiently high impulse, you would have the chance of quantummechanically tunneling through the wall. Mind you, the chances still would be slim, and, depending on the thickness of the wall, you would come through exponentially diminished
Let me get a running start and see. I'll get back with ya'.
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Old 10-28-2010, 11:17 PM   #128
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That was after the dogmatic phase was reached. The Catholic Church used to debate philosophical issues wherever the Pope at the time was, to help determine what stand the church should take. That's where we got the term Devil's Advocate.
The actual role of the Devil's Advocate was to argue against the canonization of a Saint.
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