Discussions locked without just cause

  • Thread starter Tom Booth
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In summary, this discussion turned into a debate about whether or not a toy engine is a perpetual motion machine. The thread was closed for being "about perpetual motion".
  • #1
Tom Booth
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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.
 
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  • #2
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.
 
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  • #3
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
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.
 
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  • #5
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
Tom Booth said:
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.
 
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  • #7
Dale said:
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
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."
 
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  • #9
russ_watters said:
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
Tom Booth said:
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.
 
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  • #11
anorlunda said:
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
russ_watters said:
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
Tom Booth said:
Sure, I became rather obsessive about studying thermodynamics about ten years ago:
Tom Booth said:
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.
 
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  • #14
Tom Booth said:
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.
 
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  • #15
Tom Booth said:
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.
 
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  • #16
FYI:
Tom Booth said:
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
Tom Booth said:
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.
 
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  • #18
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
 
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  • #19
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
 
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Related to Discussions locked without just cause

1. What does it mean when a discussion is locked without just cause?

When a discussion is locked without just cause, it means that the discussion has been closed or restricted from further comments or participation by the moderator or administrator, without a valid reason or justification.

2. Why would a discussion be locked without just cause?

Discussions may be locked without just cause for a variety of reasons, such as violating community guidelines, containing inappropriate or offensive content, or being off-topic or irrelevant to the discussion topic.

3. Is it fair for a discussion to be locked without just cause?

No, it is not fair for a discussion to be locked without just cause. All discussions should be given a fair chance for participants to share their opinions and engage in meaningful dialogue, unless there is a valid reason for it to be locked.

4. How can I appeal a discussion that has been locked without just cause?

If you believe that a discussion has been locked without just cause, you can reach out to the moderator or administrator responsible for locking the discussion and ask for an explanation or appeal the decision. You can also report the issue to the platform or forum's customer support team.

5. What can I do to prevent my discussions from being locked without just cause?

To prevent your discussions from being locked without just cause, make sure to follow the community guidelines and stay on topic. Avoid posting offensive or inappropriate content, and try to engage in respectful and productive discussions with others.

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