atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#3468: "How the hell does that not violate the Laws of Thermodynamics," you ask?

That's easy. The energy input is in the form of the refrigeration required to get the effect. The levitated object has to be cooled in liquid nitrogen. Since refrigeration is doing work against entropy (work against the principle of least action) it takes X+Y energy to move X amount of heat.

Now--the funny thing about fields of any kind (electrical, gravitic, magnetic, what-have-you) is how they make objects within them behave. Take a gravitational field, for example; every object which has mass has a gravitational field, and will pull other objects with mass towards it. Gravitation induces a four-dimensional manifold in space-time such that the two objects tend to move together over time. In the case of a large object (such as the Earth) and a smaller object (such as you) the large object hardly feels any effect from the small one, and the small one's motion is almost entirely governed by its attraction to the large object. (You can't jump high enough to leave Earth.)

So if you want an object to levitate against local gravity, generally you have to supply a sufficient countervailing force to oppose that gravitation. The object wants to follow the 4-D curve to its minimum potential energy.

Same with a couple of magnets. The system wants to find its lowest possible energy state. If you put the two north poles together they separate until a minimum energy state is found; if you put a north and south pole together, they move until they come in contact with each other and cannot move further.

These objects follow timelike curves in that--once you release them to act on their own--they immediately move to seek a ground state.

The "quantum locking" featured in the video heading the last post is just a way to make a supercooled object assume a ground state wherever it happens to be put. It doesn't move because it doesn't need to; it's already in a state of minimum potential energy.

(It requires a significant input of energy to place the actors in a state which allows this, of course, hence the "supercooled object" part. The Laws of Thermodynamics are satisfied, else the demonstration would not work.)

Having thought all this through, then I thought, " what if we could do that with gravity?"

Yeah. Dang.

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