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Author Topic: Second law challenge and cold cathode  (Read 6512 times)

Offline exnihiloest

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Second law challenge and cold cathode
« on: April 25, 2009, 12:34:09 PM »
A recent paper from an italian physicist proposes a simple Maxwell demon. A capacitor constituted of two dissimilar electrodes, an ordinary electrode and one with a low work function (cold cathode), charges itself when placed in a single thermal bath:

A chinese team also tempted similar but more complicated experiments, in which the electrodes were identical and the asymetry was realised by a magnetic field:

I had also this idea before and I never saw why it should not work. The interest of the italian paper is that the problem is clearly posed: the charge of the capacitor extracts usable work from heat and that requires entropy decreasing.

Offline Philip Hardcastle

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Re: Second law challenge and cold cathode
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2009, 09:51:19 AM »
Hi exnihiloest,

I have a thread on here about Fu who I have had many coversations with in the past.

As to Prof Germano his device will not work IMO and I have had long debates with him on that subject.

If you want to read why go to and read the topic "isothermal thermionic converters"


Phil H