Discussions locked without just cause

  • Thread starter Tom Booth
  • Start date
  • #1
61
2
Summary:: What is with claiming a discussion is about "perpetual motion", then shutting it down for being "about perpetual motion"?

What foolishness.

A toy engine from a hobby shop is not a perpetual motion machine.
 
  • Skeptical
  • Sad
Likes JD_PM, etotheipi, weirdoguy and 1 other person

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Dale
Mentor
Insights Author
2020 Award
31,516
8,272
Well, to be fair, it started out as a discussion about a toy but it ended up with quotes from Tesla (never a good sign) about “a refutation of what is known today as The second law of thermodynamics” (expressly against our rules).

A machine which violates the second law of thermo is a PMM of the second kind. We do not discuss PMMs, not even to refute them.

I am sorry that you were unaware of the policy. But a thread must not only follow the rules at the beginning (as yours did) but it must continue to remain within the forum rules (yours did not).

The closure was with “just cause” per our policy on PMMs.
 
  • Like
Likes Evo, mfb, Vanadium 50 and 1 other person
  • #3
61
2
I was aware of the policy.

My experiments were not and are not about, or intended to prove or disprove "perpetual motion".

I did a simple experiment to test a theory I had about how a Stirling engine might work.

Someone else made the claim that it was a perpetual motion machine, then that same someone else came in and locked the thread.

Are we just going to discard experimental science because something looks like, based only on someone's opinion, supposed "perpetual motion"?
 
  • #4
Dale
Mentor
Insights Author
2020 Award
31,516
8,272
So why did you respond with anti-2nd-law quotes from Tesla? Frankly, I have never once had a good conversation when someone involved begins quoting Tesla. That in itself is a huge red flag.

All you needed to do is say “yes, it isn’t a PMM and therefore must follow the 2nd law, but I just don’t understand how it is working”. Instead you brought in Tesla and you turned the thread into a disprove a PMM thread.

Since you were aware of the policy then this should not have been the lead bit surprising.
 
  • Like
Likes Evo
  • #5
61
2
Do we also lock discussions about alternating current, if someone mentions it was invented by T**la?

How am I supposed to prevent someone else from coming in and derailing the thread into a debate about what THEY consider "perpetual motion", why not delete THAT individuals post?
 
  • #6
russ_watters
Mentor
20,874
7,397
How am I supposed to prevent someone else from coming in and derailing the thread into a debate about what THEY consider "perpetual motion", why not delete THAT individuals post?
Typically if there is a thread derail we will indeed attempt to clean-up the thread by deleting off-topic and unacceptable posts. But in this case, since it was your thread and you brought up PMM issues - multiple times - I/we didn't see a way to salvage the thread.

The problem was pretty much baked-in to the thread/experiment, but while narrowly focusing on the experiment itself, it took a little while to get into the "why" of it.
Do we also lock discussions about alternating current, if someone mentions it was invented by T**la?
Sometimes, yes, but it depends on the context. The history of something's invention/discovery is rarely relevant to discussion of how it works.
 
  • Like
Likes Evo
  • #7
61
2
So why did you respond with anti-2nd-law quotes from Tesla? Frankly, I have never once had a good conversation when someone involved begins quoting Tesla. That in itself is a huge red flag.

All you needed to do is say “yes, it isn’t a PMM and therefore must follow the 2nd law, but I just don’t understand how it is working”. Instead you brought in Tesla and you turned the thread into a disprove a PMM thread.

Since you were aware of the policy then this should not have been the lead bit surprising.

Personally I could really care less about T***a. I never heard of him before happening across his article.

I'm not a scientist, I've been a mechanic working in engine repair shops most of my life.

I don't really know what the "Second law of thermodynamics" actually is supposed to mean, as there seems to be various versions and interpretations.

I'm more a nuts and bolts mechanic who likes to figure out how thing work.

My experiments were not to prove or disprove any particular theory right or wrong but just to try and figure out how these engines actually work.

I'm not going to say: “yes, it isn’t a PMM and therefore must follow the 2nd law, but I just don’t understand how it is working”, because I don't know and I'm not going to assert something or draw conclusions before looking at the results.

If someone else thinks a toy engine is a "pm machine" that is their issue not mine.
 
  • #8
anorlunda
Staff Emeritus
Insights Author
9,583
6,661
I never read the thread at issue here, so I have no opinion on the content.

All PF members should know that when they create a thread, and they see a post the in their opinion is off topic, you should click REPORT and tell the mentors "off-topic". But when you and others reply to the off-topic point, it makes it very hard and sometimes impossible to clean up, thus shifting the topic.

The same applies when post #1 in a thread violates the guidelines. Please report it. Please do not reply, even to say "that's against the rules." or "that's dangerous."
 
  • Like
Likes Evo and Dale
  • #9
61
2
Typically if there is a thread derail we will indeed attempt to clean-up the thread by deleting off-topic and unacceptable posts. But in this case, since it was your thread and you brought up PMM issues - multiple times - I/we didn't see a way to salvage the thread.

The problem was pretty much baked-in to the thread/experiment, but while narrowly focusing on the experiment itself, it took a little while to get into the "why" of it.

Sometimes, yes, but it depends on the context. The history of something's invention/discovery is rarely relevant to discussion of how it works.

I didn't bring up any perpetual motion issues, you did. If you read "perpetual motion issues" into a simple experiment, that's your fixation on the subject not mine. I'm just trying to do some experiments without any preconceptions about what it means.
 
  • #10
russ_watters
Mentor
20,874
7,397
I don't really know what the "Second law of thermodynamics" actually is supposed to mean, as there seems to be various versions and interpretations.

I'm more a nuts and bolts mechanic who likes to figure out how thing work.

My experiments were not to prove or disprove any particular theory right or wrong but just to try and figure out how these engines actually work.

I'm not going to say: “yes, it isn’t a PMM and therefore must follow the 2nd law, but I just don’t understand how it is working”, because I don't know and I'm not going to assert something or draw conclusions before looking at the results.

If someone else thinks a toy engine is a "pm machine" that is their issue not mine.

I didn't bring up any perpetual motion issues, you did.
The problem appears to be that because - as you acknowledge - you don't know what the 2nd law of thermodynamics means, you don't actually know when you are invoking perpetual motion. You don't have to say the words to be investigating the concept. In post #29 you made it pretty clear that:
1. You don't think the science of thermodynamics (in particular, the 2nd law) is well established/understood.
2. That leaves open the possibility that you could disprove it.

That's you invoking the concept of perpetual motion, without even knowing you are saying it. And from that post you launched into an argument that Type 2 perpetual motion machines are possible.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Likes Evo and anorlunda
  • #11
61
2
I never read the thread at issue here, so I have no opinion on the content.

All PF members should know that when they create a thread, and they see a post the in their opinion is off topic, you should click REPORT and tell the mentors "off-topic". But when you and others reply to the off-topic point, it makes it very hard and sometimes impossible to clean up, thus shifting the topic.

The same applies when post #1 in a thread violates the guidelines. Please report it. Please do not reply, even to say "that's against the rules." or "that's dangerous."

Well thanks for the advice, though the "off topic" post was by a moderator, apparently, since that same individual who shouted "perpetual motion" came in and locked the thread for being about perpetual motion.
 
  • #12
61
2
The problem appears to be that because - as you acknowledge - you don't know what the 2nd law of thermodynamics means, you don't actually know when you are invoking perpetual motion. You don't have to say the words to be investigating the concept. In post #30 you made it pretty clear that:
1. You don't think the science of thermodynamics (in particular, the 2nd law) is well established/understood.
2. That leaves open the possibility that you could disprove it.

That's you invoking the concept of perpetual motion, without even knowing you are saying it. And from that post you launched into an argument that Type 2 perpetual motion machines are possible.

I did some experiments and reported the results. That is about all.

This nonsensical tiptoeing around some issue or other and going so far as to become alarmed at the mention of some historical personage, going so far as to lock out discussion of experimental results because it might be accidentally suggestive of some forbidden topic looks really just closed minded and prejudicial.

Why not just stick with looking at the experimental results without so many preconceptions. That is how science progresses.
 
  • #13
Dale
Mentor
Insights Author
2020 Award
31,516
8,272
Sure, I became rather obsessive about studying thermodynamics about ten years ago:
I don't really know what the "Second law of thermodynamics" actually is supposed to mean, as there seems to be various versions and interpretations.
Hmm.
 
  • Like
Likes berkeman, hutchphd and etotheipi
  • #14
Dale
Mentor
Insights Author
2020 Award
31,516
8,272
How am I supposed to prevent someone else from coming in and derailing the thread into a debate about what THEY consider "perpetual motion", why not delete THAT individuals post?
You report the offending post. Then we can delete that post and prevent them from further posting without shutting down your thread.

However, that is not what happened here. You introduced the perpetual motion machine by suggesting a heat engine without a heat sink. That is an excellent description of a PMM, as was clearly pointed out to you. The PMM was in fact introduced by you.
 
  • Like
Likes etotheipi
  • #15
russ_watters
Mentor
20,874
7,397
I did some experiments and reported the results. That is about all.
"About all". You also speculated that you could be demonstrating that the accepted laws of thermodynamics are wrong.
Why not just stick with looking at the experimental results without so many preconceptions. That is how science progresses.
That just isn't what Physics Forums is for. PF is for teaching existing/known science, not trying to invent new science. We've tried being more open in that way before and it doesn't work out well; the quality level of the discussions is very low.

Also, it is problematic that you believe you can drive scientific progress while at the same time admitting you don't understand the current stated of the science. A better approach to this entire issue would be for you to set aside your experiment and pre-conceived doubt and instead put some effort into learning the known science. I think if you understood the thermodynamics of the issue better you wouldn't even be investigating this issue.
 
  • Like
Likes Evo, Dale, mfb and 1 other person
  • #16
russ_watters
Mentor
20,874
7,397
FYI:
Do we need another reservoir to account for the "lost" heat?

I don't think so.
wikipedia said:
A perpetual motion machine of the second kind is a machine which spontaneously converts thermal energy into mechanical work.... The signature of a perpetual motion machine of the second kind is that there is only one heat reservoir involved...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perpetual_motion#Classification
So again: that's you invoking perpetual motion without even knowing you are saying it.

You may also be interested in reading our insight article on the subject, which discusses both perpetual motion itself and why we don't host discussion of them:
https://www.physicsforums.com/insights/why-we-dont-discuss-perpetual-motion-machines-pmm/
 
  • #17
Vanadium 50
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
27,224
11,207
looks really just closed minded and prejudicial.

Hidebound reactionaries!
High priests of the orthodoxy!

We've heard it all. Fact of the matter is, you agreed you wouldn't discuss perpetual motion when you joined. Having read the thread on the other forum, it becomes difficult to believe that you had no idea that this machine violates the Second Law.
 
  • Like
  • Haha
Likes Evo, russ_watters, etotheipi and 1 other person
  • #18
Dale
Mentor
Insights Author
2020 Award
31,516
8,272
Anyway, thank you @Tom Booth for starting this feedback thread. You understood the rule but, for the sake of being charitable, we will accept that due to your limited understanding of thermodynamics you did not understand that your posts were violating the rule. Now you know and understand the "just cause" in this case.

This matter is resolved and the thread is closed
 
  • Like
Likes JD_PM, DaveE, russ_watters and 1 other person
  • #19
berkeman
Mentor
59,983
10,187
UPDATE from the Mentors:

It turns out that this (ex-) user has not been honest in this Feedback thread. We have found that he actually has a web page set up to try to fund this work, which he clearly calls a Free Energy machine based on Tesla's work. And on that page he does refer to PMMs and violating the 2nd Law of Thermo.

Sometimes we are too trusting...

1595966489371.png
 
  • Wow
  • Like
  • Informative
Likes Evo, JD_PM, Charles Link and 9 others

Related Threads on Discussions locked without just cause

Replies
2
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
924
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
2K
Replies
5
Views
771
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
2K
D
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
9
Views
3K
Replies
5
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
1K
Top