Maxwell's Demon

The Starship Troupers, St. Vidicon, and G.R.I.P.E.
aeneas
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JoinedCOLON Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:56 pm

Maxwell's Demon

Postby aeneas » Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:27 pm

This is news of interest to any Warlock/St. Vidicon fan! Check it out:

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/11/ ... ic-energy/
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cstasheff
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JoinedCOLON Fri May 21, 2010 4:21 pm

Re: Maxwell's Demon

Postby cstasheff » Tue Nov 16, 2010 6:13 pm

Fascinating, Aeneas. It opens up a new realm of plot elements -- a whole tribe of Maxwell's Demons (information is plentiful, right?" climbing a spiral staircase to our hero's rescue -- until they find out the staircase is a strand of DNA. The person born with it would have the power to regulate entropy. Could be fun.

Some years ago, I read a short story (wish I could find it again!) in which the Maxwell's Demons went on strike. You c an imagine what happened to Hell.
aeneas
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Re: Maxwell's Demon

Postby aeneas » Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:53 am

That's sounds really good! The whole theory and the experiments recently performed are all rather mind bending, but you're right that they open up great possibilities for the storyteller.
kf6eml
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Re: Maxwell's Demon

Postby kf6eml » Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:52 am

I remember reading in another sci-fi novel; One of the characters disposed of a dragon by organizing all of the dragon's atomic (heat) energy into a single vector. Said dragon instantly accelerated into the ground and left quite a hole.

I also heard an interesting experiment that some students are doing. They are trying to form a crystal with a peculiar shape, something like a tuning fork, which amplifies heat at one end. It's sort of like cracking a whip in that energy absorbed along the length makes the end of the crystal vibrate more vigorously and "concentrating" the heat there. Then they will use the Seebeck effect to turn it into electricity. Any "good" scientist will tell you that this violates the laws of thermodynamics, but I hope they succeed. We have too many laws nowadays.
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cstasheff
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Re: Maxwell's Demon

Postby cstasheff » Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:24 pm

There is this to be said about engineers and physicists -- tell them something can't be done, and they'll instantly try to find a way to do it. Newton stated the laws of thermodynamics and Maxwell tried to find a way around them. Larry Niven wrote RINGWORLD and, at the next Worldcon, a troop of MIT students marched through the halls in lockstep, chanting " The Ringworld is unstable!" Sooner or later, though, somebody does find a way, thereby coming up with a new law -- and, of course, SF writers take the ideas and make new stories out of it. What could be more fun?

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