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Thread: how do we use the flow of electrons to power electronics? Do we HAVE to use electrons for power?

  1. #1 how do we use the flow of electrons to power electronics? Do we HAVE to use electrons for power? 
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    I am well aware that we use the flow of electrons for our energy needs and I also understand how and why electrons move. the thing I want to know is how do we actually use the flow of electrons.
    like, what exactly are we making the electrons do while they flow through circuits? I cant seem to find anything online about what flowing electrons actually do and how we use their energy to power our electronics.

    electricity is great and all, but their is a huge flaw....we cant get "free" energy using it. So why do we use the flow of electrons? Is their no other way to power our world? All we pretty much do is use is Take advantage of the fact that electrons will always try to be in a neutral state, we give them a charge, then we give them a path to follow that promises them the thing they want most, then they find out was all a lie and then we make them repeat this process over and over......its actually pretty brutal in a sense and we should be ashamed of ourselves...poor electrons

    Isnt their anything else we could use instead of electrons for energy? all we are doing is using the movement of electrons, so if we could find a different type of particle that we could make move, then we could use those particles movement as energy too right?? There must be something other then electrons that we can use as energy. Think about it, the entire universe is always in constant motion, nothing in the universe remains absolutely still, even if a object does not move through space, the atoms of that object is constantly vibrating, so in a sense that object is actually in constant motion. why can we not harness the atoms vibration for energy? I mean, the vibrations of atoms is energy, the vibrations are simply particles knocking each other causing a chain reaction, kinda like a wave, so why cant we use it for energy?

    also, nature generates electricity as lightning, why cant we simply reproduce the process naturally in a controlled environment so that we can harness the energy?


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    Quote Originally Posted by xxsolarplexusxx View Post
    I am well aware that we use the flow of electrons for our energy needs and I also understand how and why electrons move. the thing I want to know is how do we actually use the flow of electrons.
    like, what exactly are we making the electrons do while they flow through circuits? I cant seem to find anything online about what flowing electrons actually do and how we use their energy to power our electronics.

    electricity is great and all, but their is a huge flaw....we cant get "free" energy using it. So why do we use the flow of electrons? Is their no other way to power our world? All we pretty much do is use is Take advantage of the fact that electrons will always try to be in a neutral state, we give them a charge, then we give them a path to follow that promises them the thing they want most, then they find out was all a lie and then we make them repeat this process over and over......its actually pretty brutal in a sense and we should be ashamed of ourselves...poor electrons

    Isnt their anything else we could use instead of electrons for energy? all we are doing is using the movement of electrons, so if we could find a different type of particle that we could make move, then we could use those particles movement as energy too right?? There must be something other then electrons that we can use as energy. Think about it, the entire universe is always in constant motion, nothing in the universe remains absolutely still, even if a object does not move through space, the atoms of that object is constantly vibrating, so in a sense that object is actually in constant motion. why can we not harness the atoms vibration for energy? I mean, the vibrations of atoms is energy, the vibrations are simply particles knocking each other causing a chain reaction, kinda like a wave, so why cant we use it for energy?

    also, nature generates electricity as lightning, why cant we simply reproduce the process naturally in a controlled environment so that we can harness the energy?
    OK. I'm now going to recite some basics, some of which you may know, but I think it is important that they are kept in mind, because it looks as if you are confused about some of it.

    First, the flow of electrons in wires is what we call "electricity", but there are many types of energy we use besides electrical energy. For example we burn fuel to produce heat that we then utilise in various ways, for example in transport and for home heating.

    Second, the electrical energy in electricity always comes from some other, non-electrical, source of energy. Power stations use chemical energy, nuclear energy, gravitational potential energy, wind energy, etc. The flow of electrons in wires is just the means of transmitting energy. It is not the source of that energy.

    Third, you cannot get "free" energy at all, ever. Energy is conserved, in other words neither created nor destroyed. All we can do is convert it from one form to another that we can make use of. So chemical energy in fuel can be converted to either kinetic energy of your car in motion or a flow of electrons in wires to produce light energy in your house. And so on.

    Fourth, the "vibration" of atoms that you refer to is what we call heat. Which we do use for energy all the time, in cars and power stations for example.

    With the above in mind, what is it you are really asking about? Is it about energy sources, or about energy transmission?


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    The advantage of electricity is that it is easy to deliver. Previously, large factories either had large amounts of coal or oil delivered to them to power their machines, or they might be built close to running water as a source of energy.

    Gas was slightly easier to deliver to houses and so was widely used for heating, lighting and (possibly) even driving simple machines.

    When electricity was first delivered to houses and used to drive electric motors, the motors were so expensive that a single motor would be used to drive multiple things. IT would be attached to the sewing machine when that was in use, then taken and attached to a drill or saw so that could be used, and so on.

    Motors then became cheap enough that they could be built into each appliance.

    With the development of electronics, electricity could be used for many more things such as radio and eventually TV, computers and all the joys of modern life.

    In term of what comes next, I can't see anything replacing electricity as a means of delivering energy - it is too convenient and useful - but there will be a move to more local generation, perhaps, with solar power being used by houses and factories.

    For electronics, the next generation of devices might use light (photons) instead of electrons. And also nano-machines, bio-molecules (e.g. DNA for storage), etc. Probably a bit of each in combination/hybrid systems.
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by xxsolarplexusxx View Post
    I am well aware that we use the flow of electrons for our energy needs and I also understand how and why electrons move. the thing I want to know is how do we actually use the flow of electrons.
    like, what exactly are we making the electrons do while they flow through circuits? I cant seem to find anything online about what flowing electrons actually do and how we use their energy to power our electronics.

    electricity is great and all, but their is a huge flaw....we cant get "free" energy using it. So why do we use the flow of electrons? Is their no other way to power our world? All we pretty much do is use is Take advantage of the fact that electrons will always try to be in a neutral state, we give them a charge, then we give them a path to follow that promises them the thing they want most, then they find out was all a lie and then we make them repeat this process over and over......its actually pretty brutal in a sense and we should be ashamed of ourselves...poor electrons

    Isnt their anything else we could use instead of electrons for energy? all we are doing is using the movement of electrons, so if we could find a different type of particle that we could make move, then we could use those particles movement as energy too right?? There must be something other then electrons that we can use as energy. Think about it, the entire universe is always in constant motion, nothing in the universe remains absolutely still, even if a object does not move through space, the atoms of that object is constantly vibrating, so in a sense that object is actually in constant motion. why can we not harness the atoms vibration for energy? I mean, the vibrations of atoms is energy, the vibrations are simply particles knocking each other causing a chain reaction, kinda like a wave, so why cant we use it for energy?

    also, nature generates electricity as lightning, why cant we simply reproduce the process naturally in a controlled environment so that we can harness the energy?
    OK. I'm now going to recite some basics, some of which you may know, but I think it is important that they are kept in mind, because it looks as if you are confused about some of it.

    First, the flow of electrons in wires is what we call "electricity", but there are many types of energy we use besides electrical energy. For example we burn fuel to produce heat that we then utilise in various ways, for example in transport and for home heating.

    Second, the electrical energy in electricity always comes from some other, non-electrical, source of energy. Power stations use chemical energy, nuclear energy, gravitational potential energy, wind energy, etc. The flow of electrons in wires is just the means of transmitting energy. It is not the source of that energy.

    Third, you cannot get "free" energy at all, ever. Energy is conserved, in other words neither created nor destroyed. All we can do is convert it from one form to another that we can make use of. So chemical energy in fuel can be converted to either kinetic energy of your car in motion or a flow of electrons in wires to produce light energy in your house. And so on.

    Fourth, the "vibration" of atoms that you refer to is what we call heat. Which we do use for energy all the time, in cars and power stations for example.

    With the above in mind, what is it you are really asking about? Is it about energy sources, or about energy transmission?

    im asking about about both. and yes, i understand that we have to input energy in order to move the electrons and we will never get more energy out then what we put in, using our current methods. I like to keep a open mind about things, I refuse to label anything as "impossible". just because we have not found a way to sustain free energy does not mean their is not a way to achieve it. Sure, there is all these laws of physics that seem to control our entire universe, but keep in mind that science is something that has been changing through out our history, scientist have always been so sure of something and then later finds out they were completely wrong. i mean, flying was once considered "impossible" now everything flies now-a-dayz. everyone thought einstein was insane and most people laughed at his theories and ideas, then years later we find out he was a genius. so I will not hop on the banwagon, i rather admit that I dont know something rather then thinking I know even if I do not realize that i do not know. so, free energy may not be impossible, their could be something that we have not discovered yet that will allow us to get free energy, the laws of physics do not seem to apply to atoms on the atomic scale, many of the things that govern the world we perceive do not govern matter on the smallest scales, this means that there could be a way to get free energy if we operate on the atomic scale....in fact, fusion is proof that we can get free energy, we just cant maintain the fusion reaction long enough, but once we do, we will literally get "free energy" from fusion reactors, thus, the belief that free energy is impossible is shattered, and science will be wrong once again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    The advantage of electricity is that it is easy to deliver. Previously, large factories either had large amounts of coal or oil delivered to them to power their machines, or they might be built close to running water as a source of energy.

    Gas was slightly easier to deliver to houses and so was widely used for heating, lighting and (possibly) even driving simple machines.

    When electricity was first delivered to houses and used to drive electric motors, the motors were so expensive that a single motor would be used to drive multiple things. IT would be attached to the sewing machine when that was in use, then taken and attached to a drill or saw so that could be used, and so on.

    Motors then became cheap enough that they could be built into each appliance.

    With the development of electronics, electricity could be used for many more things such as radio and eventually TV, computers and all the joys of modern life.

    In term of what comes next, I can't see anything replacing electricity as a means of delivering energy - it is too convenient and useful - but there will be a move to more local generation, perhaps, with solar power being used by houses and factories.

    For electronics, the next generation of devices might use light (photons) instead of electrons. And also nano-machines, bio-molecules (e.g. DNA for storage), etc. Probably a bit of each in combination/hybrid systems.

    indeed. maybe electricity is the most convenient energy. but there has to be a better way, I can not imagine living in such a vast and complex universe where the best option for energy is electricity. i mean, we live in this huge universe, does this universe expect us to do interstellar travel with electricity? if not, then its cruel as fk to create life and only allow them to explore a tiny bit of the universe they live in. its like the universe is constantly showing us all these nice and shiny things but will never let us have a closer look at them, and then we die. universe 1 humanity 0

    funny you mentioned light as a energy source, I literally just thought it should be possible to use photons as energy, if we could find a way to contain light without letting it be absorbed by other matter then maybe we could get free energy from it, or at least a little bit more efficient energy when compared to electricity. .....hmmm, hell, it may even be possible to grow some type of organic material or cells so that we could abuse them like we do with electrons ( pretty much a slave army of immortal germs, bacteria, cells ect... <----- really doubt it though, but its still a fun thought to play with.


    oh, and there is this liquid we can make, its liquid helium or something, its pretty much a super fluid, this liquid has some weird abilities, it can leek through solid objects, even glass, it also is able to flow vertically up walls and such, it can even be used to create a never ending fountain, it is self sustaining, this makes me think if we can scale it up, maybe we can get this liquid generate energy for us
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxsolarplexusxx View Post
    indeed. maybe electricity is the most convenient energy.
    Depends on the purpose. It isn't currently possible to make a practical electric airliner. And electric cars still have range and cost disadvantages over other fuels.

    i mean, we live in this huge universe, does this universe expect us to do interstellar travel with electricity?
    We might: https://www.nasa.gov/centers/glenn/about/fs21grc.html

    But even if we use electricity as a means of distributing and using energy, it may not be the best form to store it.

    funny you mentioned light as a energy source, I literally just thought it should be possible to use photons as energy, if we could find a way to contain light without letting it be absorbed by other matter then maybe we could get free energy from it, or at least a little bit more efficient energy when compared to electricity.
    Well, you can use photovoltaic cells to generate electricity. But you can also use solar power to generate heat and power machines directly.
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxsolarplexusxx View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post

    OK. I'm now going to recite some basics, some of which you may know, but I think it is important that they are kept in mind, because it looks as if you are confused about some of it.

    First, the flow of electrons in wires is what we call "electricity", but there are many types of energy we use besides electrical energy. For example we burn fuel to produce heat that we then utilise in various ways, for example in transport and for home heating.

    Second, the electrical energy in electricity always comes from some other, non-electrical, source of energy. Power stations use chemical energy, nuclear energy, gravitational potential energy, wind energy, etc. The flow of electrons in wires is just the means of transmitting energy. It is not the source of that energy.

    Third, you cannot get "free" energy at all, ever. Energy is conserved, in other words neither created nor destroyed. All we can do is convert it from one form to another that we can make use of. So chemical energy in fuel can be converted to either kinetic energy of your car in motion or a flow of electrons in wires to produce light energy in your house. And so on.

    Fourth, the "vibration" of atoms that you refer to is what we call heat. Which we do use for energy all the time, in cars and power stations for example.

    With the above in mind, what is it you are really asking about? Is it about energy sources, or about energy transmission?

    im asking about about both. and yes, i understand that we have to input energy in order to move the electrons and we will never get more energy out then what we put in, using our current methods. I like to keep a open mind about things, I refuse to label anything as "impossible". just because we have not found a way to sustain free energy does not mean their is not a way to achieve it. Sure, there is all these laws of physics that seem to control our entire universe, but keep in mind that science is something that has been changing through out our history, scientist have always been so sure of something and then later finds out they were completely wrong. i mean, flying was once considered "impossible" now everything flies now-a-dayz. everyone thought einstein was insane and most people laughed at his theories and ideas, then years later we find out he was a genius. so I will not hop on the banwagon, i rather admit that I dont know something rather then thinking I know even if I do not realize that i do not know. so, free energy may not be impossible, their could be something that we have not discovered yet that will allow us to get free energy, the laws of physics do not seem to apply to atoms on the atomic scale, many of the things that govern the world we perceive do not govern matter on the smallest scales, this means that there could be a way to get free energy if we operate on the atomic scale....in fact, fusion is proof that we can get free energy, we just cant maintain the fusion reaction long enough, but once we do, we will literally get "free energy" from fusion reactors, thus, the belief that free energy is impossible is shattered, and science will be wrong once again.


    Regarding free energy, what is for sure is that energy is conserved, so you cannot get energy from anything except another form of energy. Conservation of energy is a consequence of Noether's Theorem and is about as fundamental as you can get.

    If by "free" energy you mean energy that does not cost us anything, that is a bit different. Arguably solar panels give you that, inasmuch as sunlight is "free". But of course you do have to pay for making installing and maintaining the panel, so even that is not really "free" in the sense of zero cost. Fusion won't be free energy either. It will, if we ever get it, depend on extracting deuterium from seawater and building huge machines to fuse it and convert the resulting energy. It will be no more free than hydroelectric power.

    P.S. This is romantic rubbish about Einstein, though I am sure lots of people believe it. Nobody ever thought him insane. He was admitted to the most prestigious scientific university in Switzerland at the age of 17, his 1905 papers, when he was 26, were immediately taken seriously by the science community, and he was a professor by the age of 32.
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxsolarplexusxx View Post
    I refuse to label anything as "impossible".
    Despite what you wish to think some things are impossible.

    just because we have not found a way to sustain free energy does not mean their is not a way to achieve it.
    Physics (i.e. science) tells us that - it's not a question of "not having found it".

    i mean, flying was once considered "impossible"
    Not from a scientific point of view and not declared so by scientists (at least none who were expressing an opinion in their own field).

    in fact, fusion is proof that we can get free energy
    Only in the same way that solar power is "free".

    thus, the belief that free energy is impossible is shattered
    Nope.
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxsolarplexusxx View Post
    in fact, fusion is proof that we can get free energy, we just cant maintain the fusion reaction long enough, but once we do, we will literally get "free energy" from fusion reactors, thus, the belief that free energy is impossible is shattered, and science will be wrong once again.
    I can't think of any possible definition under which fusion is, or will be, "free". It is massively expensive in terms of infrastructure. The fuel will be costly to extract. And ongoing maintenance and eventual decommissioning costs will be high as well.

    It would be nice if there was a handy Mr Fusion reactor as in Back to the Future but, alas, that is firmly in the realm of science fiction. (Even though we are 2 years past the date the film was set.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxsolarplexusxx View Post
    indeed. maybe electricity is the most convenient energy. but there has to be a better way, I can not imagine living in such a vast and complex universe where the best option for energy is electricity. i mean, we live in this huge universe, does this universe expect us to do interstellar travel with electricity?
    Maybe. Ion engines use electricity to propel reaction mass - and they are the most efficient engines developed so far.
    if not, then its cruel as fk to create life and only allow them to explore a tiny bit of the universe they live in.
    Given that we've been to the moon and sent robots to every planet in the solar system - I wouldn't say that's cruel.
    funny you mentioned light as a energy source, I literally just thought it should be possible to use photons as energy, if we could find a way to contain light without letting it be absorbed by other matter then maybe we could get free energy from it
    You can. That technique is called "photovoltaics."
    oh, and there is this liquid we can make, its liquid helium or something, its pretty much a super fluid, this liquid has some weird abilities, it can leek through solid objects, even glass, it also is able to flow vertically up walls and such, it can even be used to create a never ending fountain, it is self sustaining, this makes me think if we can scale it up, maybe we can get this liquid generate energy for us
    No, that wouldn't generate energy. The system would reach steady state and stop.

    free energy may not be impossible, their could be something that we have not discovered yet that will allow us to get free energy
    Sure there is. I get free energy from the sun. (I am just converting photons to electrical current, of course, but since sunlight is free that works for me.)
    the laws of physics do not seem to apply to atoms on the atomic scale
    Of course they do. Much of our understanding of physics comes from studies at the atomic scale.
    in fact, fusion is proof that we can get free energy, we just cant maintain the fusion reaction long enough, but once we do, we will literally get "free energy" from fusion reactors, thus, the belief that free energy is impossible is shattered, and science will be wrong once again.
    ?? Science says you can convert matter into energy. That's what reactors do.

    However, claiming that nuclear energy (fission OR fusion) is "free" is pretty silly. They need fuel and huge reactors. Currently nuclear reactors produce some of our most expensive electricity.
    everyone thought einstein was insane and most people laughed at his theories and ideas,
    Just FYI the phrase "they laughed at Einstein, too!" is one of the hallmarks of the crank. (Not saying you are a crank, just something to watch for.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    everyone thought einstein was insane and most people laughed at his theories and ideas,
    Just FYI the phrase "they laughed at Einstein, too!" is one of the hallmarks of the crank. (Not saying you are a crank, just something to watch for.)
    Apart from that, it just isn't true. As far as I know, most of his ideas were accepted pretty quickly because they solved real problems, were based in sound science and had evidential support.
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxsolarplexusxx View Post
    its liquid helium or something, its pretty much a super fluid, this liquid has some weird abilities, it can leek through solid objects, even glass
    I'm open to correction but I don't think that's true. Do you have a source?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by xxsolarplexusxx View Post
    its liquid helium or something, its pretty much a super fluid, this liquid has some weird abilities, it can leek through solid objects, even glass
    I'm open to correction but I don't think that's true. Do you have a source?
    I think it is an example of people looking at the headlines and not the content. For example:
    Superfluid helium can leak through glass and climb out of its container

    The video very explicitly says it is not leaking through glass but a porous ceramic.

    Imagine! Leaking through a porous material! (actually, it is quite remarkable)
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxsolarplexusxx View Post
    like, what exactly are we making the electrons do while they flow through circuits? I cant seem to find anything online about what flowing electrons actually do and how we use their energy to power our electronics.
    I'm not sure what you're hung up on. There seems to be an enormous amount online about what electrons do and what electricity does.

    In the simplest case, think of wires as pipes. Then your question becomes equivalent to "why do we use water?" The answer is that it conveys power from one place to another quite well, it's convenient...Similarly, we use electrons because they aid in the conveyance of power from one place to another, and they are convenient.

    electricity is great and all, but their is a huge flaw....we cant get "free" energy using it.
    Why are you singling out electricity? All energy sources suffer from precisely this same "flaw." You have somehow gotten into your head -- quite wrongly -- that electricity is uniquely deficient. Maybe that's where you need to start. Once you fix that, then many of your other questions will go away as irrelevant.

    So why do we use the flow of electrons? Is their no other way to power our world? All we pretty much do is use is Take advantage of the fact that electrons will always try to be in a neutral state, we give them a charge, then we give them a path to follow that promises them the thing they want most, then they find out was all a lie and then we make them repeat this process over and over......its actually pretty brutal in a sense and we should be ashamed of ourselves...poor electrons
    One danger of the "wires as pipes" analogy is that it is easy to conclude that electrons therefore are somehow the source of energy. They are not. Think about wireless: No wires = no electrons. Yet somehow energy clearly moves from transmitter to receiver. The truth is that wires, and the electrons they contain, act as energy guides. The energy itself is actually carried by fields. It's a subtle concept, to be sure, but an important one.

    You probably believe that electrons move fast in a wire. They actually don't. A typical electron in a current-carrying wire moves quite a bit slower than the walking pace of a human. The energy, however, moves much faster (e.g., at the speed of light). That by itself should tell you something about what electrons do not do. So there's no need to start a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Electrons. They're not working all that hard, actually.

    ...yes, i understand that we have to input energy in order to move the electrons and we will never get more energy out then what we put in, using our current methods. I like to keep a open mind about things, I refuse to label anything as "impossible". just because we have not found a way to sustain free energy does not mean their is not a way to achieve it.
    Be careful not to open your mind so much that your brains fall out. Yes, it is true that the law of energy conservation originally was a generalisation derived from a lack of counterexamples, leading to open-minded hopefuls to devise many clever perpetual motion machines (that never quite worked). More often, these were used to defraud people, a practise that continues to the present day (dressed up with sciency words like "quantum" and "zero-point energy" or "vacuum energy"; magnets remain popular adjuncts). But around the end of WWI, Emmy Noether proved an important theorem, as exchemist mentioned. She showed that energy conservation is guaranteed in a universe where the laws of physics do not change with time. So, any hopes of revoking the energy conservation law rest on the violation of this time symmetry.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    everyone thought einstein was insane and most people laughed at his theories and ideas,
    Just FYI the phrase "they laughed at Einstein, too!" is one of the hallmarks of the crank. (Not saying you are a crank, just something to watch for.)
    Apart from that, it just isn't true. As far as I know, most of his ideas were accepted pretty quickly because they solved real problems, were based in sound science and had evidential support.
    Well, there was some opposition, but some of that was based on national pride. Einstein was a German, when there were tensions between Great Britain and Germany, and his theory would have supplanted Newton, an English icon.
    "Men are apt to mistake the strength of their feelings for the strength of their argument.
    The heated mind resents the chill touch & relentless scrutiny of logic"-W.E. Gladstone


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    Quote Originally Posted by Janus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
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    everyone thought einstein was insane and most people laughed at his theories and ideas,
    Just FYI the phrase "they laughed at Einstein, too!" is one of the hallmarks of the crank. (Not saying you are a crank, just something to watch for.)
    Apart from that, it just isn't true. As far as I know, most of his ideas were accepted pretty quickly because they solved real problems, were based in sound science and had evidential support.
    Well, there was some opposition, but some of that was based on national pride. Einstein was a German, when there were tensions between Great Britain and Germany, and his theory would have supplanted Newton, an English icon.
    There was indeed.

    I still have somewhere a British book from the 1930s on marine diesel engines, which solemnly refers to them as "Stuart-Ackroyd" engines, or "oil" engines! I got it from the Shell Centre (London) library, when they closed it down in the 1990s. They had some rather good old technical books, all beautifully illustrated, as pre-war books often were.

    I also recall that right up to the 1960s the Soviet Union claimed to have invented TV! Nationalism led to a lot of distortions.

    But I don't think what little opposition there was to Einstein, even from harrumphing, bewhiskered Englishmen, lasted very long. The ideas were just so powerful.
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    I also recall that right up to the 1960s the Soviet Union claimed to have invented TV!
    Almost every country I have visited seems to have a claim to have invented television (for suitable definitions of "invented" and "television").
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    But I don't think what little opposition there was to Einstein, even from harrumphing, bewhiskered Englishmen, lasted very long. The ideas were just so powerful.
    Indeed. And we should not forget that Eddington was a forceful champion of Einstein's ideas during the Great War, harrumphing from some quarters aside.
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by xxsolarplexusxx View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post

    OK. I'm now going to recite some basics, some of which you may know, but I think it is important that they are kept in mind, because it looks as if you are confused about some of it.

    First, the flow of electrons in wires is what we call "electricity", but there are many types of energy we use besides electrical energy. For example we burn fuel to produce heat that we then utilise in various ways, for example in transport and for home heating.

    Second, the electrical energy in electricity always comes from some other, non-electrical, source of energy. Power stations use chemical energy, nuclear energy, gravitational potential energy, wind energy, etc. The flow of electrons in wires is just the means of transmitting energy. It is not the source of that energy.

    Third, you cannot get "free" energy at all, ever. Energy is conserved, in other words neither created nor destroyed. All we can do is convert it from one form to another that we can make use of. So chemical energy in fuel can be converted to either kinetic energy of your car in motion or a flow of electrons in wires to produce light energy in your house. And so on.

    Fourth, the "vibration" of atoms that you refer to is what we call heat. Which we do use for energy all the time, in cars and power stations for example.

    With the above in mind, what is it you are really asking about? Is it about energy sources, or about energy transmission?

    im asking about about both. and yes, i understand that we have to input energy in order to move the electrons and we will never get more energy out then what we put in, using our current methods. I like to keep a open mind about things, I refuse to label anything as "impossible". just because we have not found a way to sustain free energy does not mean their is not a way to achieve it. Sure, there is all these laws of physics that seem to control our entire universe, but keep in mind that science is something that has been changing through out our history, scientist have always been so sure of something and then later finds out they were completely wrong. i mean, flying was once considered "impossible" now everything flies now-a-dayz. everyone thought einstein was insane and most people laughed at his theories and ideas, then years later we find out he was a genius. so I will not hop on the banwagon, i rather admit that I dont know something rather then thinking I know even if I do not realize that i do not know. so, free energy may not be impossible, their could be something that we have not discovered yet that will allow us to get free energy, the laws of physics do not seem to apply to atoms on the atomic scale, many of the things that govern the world we perceive do not govern matter on the smallest scales, this means that there could be a way to get free energy if we operate on the atomic scale....in fact, fusion is proof that we can get free energy, we just cant maintain the fusion reaction long enough, but once we do, we will literally get "free energy" from fusion reactors, thus, the belief that free energy is impossible is shattered, and science will be wrong once again.


    Regarding free energy, what is for sure is that energy is conserved, so you cannot get energy from anything except another form of energy. Conservation of energy is a consequence of Noether's Theorem and is about as fundamental as you can get.

    If by "free" energy you mean energy that does not cost us anything, that is a bit different. Arguably solar panels give you that, inasmuch as sunlight is "free". But of course you do have to pay for making installing and maintaining the panel, so even that is not really "free" in the sense of zero cost. Fusion won't be free energy either. It will, if we ever get it, depend on extracting deuterium from seawater and building huge machines to fuse it and convert the resulting energy. It will be no more free than hydroelectric power.

    P.S. This is romantic rubbish about Einstein, though I am sure lots of people believe it. Nobody ever thought him insane. He was admitted to the most prestigious scientific university in Switzerland at the age of 17, his 1905 papers, when he was 26, were immediately taken seriously by the science community, and he was a professor by the age of 32.

    are you positive that the law of conservation applies to atoms/particles on the atomic level? I think this law is caused buy how LARGE clusters of matter/particles interact with each other, while on the atom scale of single atoms and particles there is nothing to enforce the law of conservation, so i do not think this law applies to atoms on the atomic/quantum levels.
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxsolarplexusxx View Post
    are you positive that the law of conservation applies to atoms/particles on the atomic level?
    The first (atoms) has been verified experimentally, the second (subatomic particles) is a "bit more complicated than that" but, basically, yes we're sure.

    nothing to enforce the law of conservation
    What?

    so i do not think this law applies to atoms on the atomic/quantum levels.
    And what evidence do you have to support this view?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by xxsolarplexusxx View Post
    I refuse to label anything as "impossible".
    Despite what you wish to think some things are impossible.

    just because we have not found a way to sustain free energy does not mean their is not a way to achieve it.
    Physics (i.e. science) tells us that - it's not a question of "not having found it".

    i mean, flying was once considered "impossible"
    Not from a scientific point of view and not declared so by scientists (at least none who were expressing an opinion in their own field).

    in fact, fusion is proof that we can get free energy
    Only in the same way that solar power is "free".

    thus, the belief that free energy is impossible is shattered
    Nope.

    how do you know if something is impossible or not? how do you know for sure that you know everything about a subject? if their is something that you dont know, then you probably are not aware of the fact that you dont know it.

    you are wrong about fusion i think, fusion is not free like how the solar panels collect free energy. please read into fusion and then you will see. firstly, the fusion concept has been proven a long time ago, we already have machines that can successfully create fusion but we can not maintain the fusion long enough to draw energy from it because we do not have materials that can withstand the heat fusion produces. there is literally hundreds of scientist who talk about how if only we had materials that could withstand the high temps then we can literally get out more energy from fusion then what we put in.

    see, what fusion is simply what the sun has been doing for its entire life, a stars mass is enough to force atoms/particles together, the atoms/particles then fuse with each other, this causes them to become unstable and they begin to releases particles which causes a chain reaction of fusing atoms, this reaction is self sustaining. we can do the same exact thing with a fusion machine, we literally force atoms together until they fuse and release their energy, the energy they emit is heated plasma, we then contain this plasma in a powerfull magnetic field, the energy that we get out of it is literally many times more the amount energy it took to fuse the atoms. ....thats free energy. This is 100% fact, if you dont believe it then please start doing some digging online, their is many, many credible scientist that all say the same thing about getting free energy from fusion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by xxsolarplexusxx View Post
    in fact, fusion is proof that we can get free energy, we just cant maintain the fusion reaction long enough, but once we do, we will literally get "free energy" from fusion reactors, thus, the belief that free energy is impossible is shattered, and science will be wrong once again.
    I can't think of any possible definition under which fusion is, or will be, "free". It is massively expensive in terms of infrastructure. The fuel will be costly to extract. And ongoing maintenance and eventual decommissioning costs will be high as well.

    It would be nice if there was a handy Mr Fusion reactor as in Back to the Future but, alas, that is firmly in the realm of science fiction. (Even though we are 2 years past the date the film was set.)
    you must not be up to date on fusion, as of now fusion is developing at a fast rate, we managed to contain plasma for a few seconds, we actually broke even in terms of energy, we managed to get back the same amount of energy back then what we put in to create fusion.....also, the fuel that we use to power fusion is the most common things you can ever find anywhere in the universe, I wont spoil it, you must go on a journey with google if you wish to learn more
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxsolarplexusxx View Post
    you must not be up to date on fusion
    Yeah?

    we managed to contain plasma for a few seconds
    And we still can't get a sustainable system going...

    the fuel that we use to power fusion is the most common things you can ever find anywhere in the universe
    Please - since you made the claim - provide a link that shows this is the case.
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxsolarplexusxx View Post
    are you positive that the law of conservation applies to atoms/particles on the atomic level? I think this law is caused buy how LARGE clusters of matter/particles interact with each other, while on the atom scale of single atoms and particles there is nothing to enforce the law of conservation, so i do not think this law applies to atoms on the atomic/quantum levels.
    Neutrinos were first detected because there appeared to be a violation of energy conservation. The possibility was (briefly) considered that energy conservation only applied "on average" but then neutrinos were detected directly and conservation of energy was confirmed.

    So, yes, it does apply to atoms and subatomic particles.
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxsolarplexusxx View Post
    see, what fusion is simply what the sun has been doing for its entire life, a stars mass is enough to force atoms/particles together, the atoms/particles then fuse with each other, this causes them to become unstable and they begin to releases particles which causes a chain reaction of fusing atoms, this reaction is self sustaining. we can do the same exact thing with a fusion machine, we literally force atoms together until they fuse and release their energy, the energy they emit is heated plasma, we then contain this plasma in a powerfull magnetic field, the energy that we get out of it is literally many times more the amount energy it took to fuse the atoms. ....thats free energy. .
    That is not "free". The Sun loses mass because it radiates away energy. Eventually it will run out of hydrogen and then helium to fuse and it will die.

    This is 100% fact, if you dont believe it then please start doing some digging online, their is many, many credible scientist that all say the same thing about getting free energy from fusion
    You are 100% wrong. Please provide a reference to scientists saying fusion is "free energy". They may mean it is very low cost (but that ignores the practicalities).
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxsolarplexusxx View Post
    you must not be up to date on fusion, as of now fusion is developing at a fast rate, we managed to contain plasma for a few seconds, we actually broke even in terms of energy, we managed to get back the same amount of energy back then what we put in to create fusion.....also, the fuel that we use to power fusion is the most common things you can ever find anywhere in the universe, I wont spoil it, you must go on a journey with google if you wish to learn more
    By coincidence, I heard a scientist working on fusion power interviewed on the radio a few days ago. He said that fusion is at least 30 years away. It has always been at leat 30 years away. Some people are unkind enough to say it will always be 30 years away. I certainly don't expect to see it in my lifetime.

    p.s. I think comments like "you must not be up to date on fusion" are a bit much from someone who gives such a garbled description of how fusion works.
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxsolarplexusxx View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by xxsolarplexusxx View Post
    in fact, fusion is proof that we can get free energy, we just cant maintain the fusion reaction long enough, but once we do, we will literally get "free energy" from fusion reactors, thus, the belief that free energy is impossible is shattered, and science will be wrong once again.
    I can't think of any possible definition under which fusion is, or will be, "free". It is massively expensive in terms of infrastructure. The fuel will be costly to extract. And ongoing maintenance and eventual decommissioning costs will be high as well.

    It would be nice if there was a handy Mr Fusion reactor as in Back to the Future but, alas, that is firmly in the realm of science fiction. (Even though we are 2 years past the date the film was set.)
    you must not be up to date on fusion, as of now fusion is developing at a fast rate, we managed to contain plasma for a few seconds, we actually broke even in terms of energy, we managed to get back the same amount of energy back then what we put in to create fusion.....also, the fuel that we use to power fusion is the most common things you can ever find anywhere in the universe, I wont spoil it, you must go on a journey with google if you wish to learn more
    Strange and the rest of us are well aware of all that. However the fact is that we are still nowhere near a fusion reactor capable of running for a period of time long enough to think of extracting power from it. And this is after 50 years of trying! Furthermore, as we have both pointed out in this thread, the fact that deuterium is plentiful in the sea does not equate to free energy. After all, there is plenty of rain but we do not have free hydro-electric power, do we?

    To ignore all the costs of extracting the fuel material, transporting it, and of building, operating and maintaining the reactors and power plants, is just silly. Those costs apply to any form of power generation and are substantial part of the total cost of electricity, regardless of the fuel that is used. There is no reason to expect the cost of fusion-based energy to be any lower than, say, hydroelectric power.
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxsolarplexusxx View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post


    Regarding free energy, what is for sure is that energy is conserved, so you cannot get energy from anything except another form of energy. Conservation of energy is a consequence of Noether's Theorem and is about as fundamental as you can get.

    If by "free" energy you mean energy that does not cost us anything, that is a bit different. Arguably solar panels give you that, inasmuch as sunlight is "free". But of course you do have to pay for making installing and maintaining the panel, so even that is not really "free" in the sense of zero cost. Fusion won't be free energy either. It will, if we ever get it, depend on extracting deuterium from seawater and building huge machines to fuse it and convert the resulting energy. It will be no more free than hydroelectric power.

    P.S. This is romantic rubbish about Einstein, though I am sure lots of people believe it. Nobody ever thought him insane. He was admitted to the most prestigious scientific university in Switzerland at the age of 17, his 1905 papers, when he was 26, were immediately taken seriously by the science community, and he was a professor by the age of 32.

    are you positive that the law of conservation applies to atoms/particles on the atomic level? I think this law is caused buy how LARGE clusters of matter/particles interact with each other, while on the atom scale of single atoms and particles there is nothing to enforce the law of conservation, so i do not think this law applies to atoms on the atomic/quantum levels.
    Actually you raise an interesting point there.

    I have from time to time come across claims that in quantum theory it is possible for energy conservation to be temporarily violated under certain conditions - for unimaginably small time intervals and by unimaginably small amounts of energy - though it always averages out so that energy is conserved overall.

    I think this is probably an incorrect, though possibly widespread, interpretation of the Uncertainty Principle ΔE.Δt >/= h/4π. But one needs to tread carefully here, as interpreting this form of the Uncertainty Principle is beset with elephant traps, so I could be wrong about this.

    However, you can rest assured that there is no way to get any net gain or loss in energy, even at the sub-atomic level.
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxsolarplexusxx View Post
    you are wrong about fusion i think, fusion is not free like how the solar panels collect free energy. please read into fusion and then you will see. firstly, the fusion concept has been proven a long time ago, we already have machines that can successfully create fusion but we can not maintain the fusion long enough to draw energy from it because we do not have materials that can withstand the heat fusion produces. there is literally hundreds of scientist who talk about how if only we had materials that could withstand the high temps then we can literally get out more energy from fusion then what we put in.
    Right - with a reactor that costs tens of millions, and generates a fair amount of nuclear waste. Such a device might someday get to breakeven but that is very far from "free energy."
    we then contain this plasma in a powerfull magnetic field, the energy that we get out of it is literally many times more the amount energy it took to fuse the atoms. ....thats free energy.
    When we use a conventional fusion reactor we get a lot more energy out than we put in. Is that free energy?
    When you ignite natural gas on your stovetop, you get a lot more energy out than you put into the igniter. Is that free energy?
    When you start a car, you get a lot more energy out of the engine than you put into it via the starter battery. Is that free energy?
    This is 100% fact, if you dont believe it then please start doing some digging online, their is many, many credible scientist that all say the same thing about getting free energy from fusion.
    No credible scientist is saying that they can get "free energy from fusion." What they ARE saying is that someday we may be able to sustain fusion, a reaction that converts fuel to energy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxsolarplexusxx View Post
    how do you know if something is impossible or not? how do you know for sure that you know everything about a subject? if their is something that you dont know, then you probably are not aware of the fact that you dont know it.
    This is a na´ve point of view. If one doesn't understand why the laws of physics are the way they are, then I guess it is easy to think that they are merely a technological limitation and that better technology will eventually allow us to overcome those limitations. But an understanding of why the laws of physics are the way they are provides an understanding of why some things are impossible. For one thing, the laws of physics are not arbitrary rules as if imposed from above. There is indeed a reason why the laws of physics are the way they are. As mentioned above, the conservation laws are a consequence of symmetry in accordance with Noether's theorem.
    There are no paradoxes in relativity, just people's misunderstandings of it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KJW View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by xxsolarplexusxx View Post
    how do you know if something is impossible or not? how do you know for sure that you know everything about a subject? if their is something that you dont know, then you probably are not aware of the fact that you dont know it.
    This is a na´ve point of view. If one doesn't understand why the laws of physics are the way they are, then I guess it is easy to think that they are merely a technological limitation and that better technology will eventually allow us to overcome those limitations. But an understanding of why the laws of physics are the way they are provides an understanding of why some things are impossible. For one thing, the laws of physics are not arbitrary rules as if imposed from above. There is indeed a reason why the laws of physics are the way they are. As mentioned above, the conservation laws are a consequence of symmetry in accordance with Noether's theorem.
    naive or open minded?
    isn't how we observe the universe subject to our thinking proces or perception?
    is mathematics the language of nature or the language/description of human thought/perception/reasoning?
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    Quote Originally Posted by perdurat View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KJW View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by xxsolarplexusxx View Post
    how do you know if something is impossible or not? how do you know for sure that you know everything about a subject? if their is something that you dont know, then you probably are not aware of the fact that you dont know it.
    This is a na´ve point of view. If one doesn't understand why the laws of physics are the way they are, then I guess it is easy to think that they are merely a technological limitation and that better technology will eventually allow us to overcome those limitations. But an understanding of why the laws of physics are the way they are provides an understanding of why some things are impossible. For one thing, the laws of physics are not arbitrary rules as if imposed from above. There is indeed a reason why the laws of physics are the way they are. As mentioned above, the conservation laws are a consequence of symmetry in accordance with Noether's theorem.
    naive or open minded?
    isn't how we observe the universe subject to our thinking proces or perception?
    is mathematics the language of nature or the language/description of human thought/perception/reasoning?
    It's naive, because it's based on an ignorance of what is known (and, more important, of how that knowledge has been tested). It is no more than a wish. Your question tries to elevate imagination by dismissing the scientific method as, essentially, "just another viewpoint". You have ignored the evidence that our universe obeys time-symmetry in the Noether sense, and thus have ignored that energy is conserved. Such ignorance is widespread, but it should not be used as the basis for "open mindedness." Everything seems possible to the uneducated, I suppose, but that shouldn't be celebrated.
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