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Entropy help

  1. Apr 7, 2006 #1
    Hi folks,

    I recently posted about one facet of a bizarre argument I've (stupidly) involved myself in in the solid state forum. Perhaps someone can help me out with the entropy side of things here.

    Basically, the guy I'm speaking to has some bizarre ideas about a way to use a (single, or set of, i'm not quite clear) Peltier coolers as shown in the diagram at this address:


    I'll try to abbreviate his argument, removing the vulgarities, insults, and back-patting (I've kept all the relevant material... I'm not trying to stack the deck to make this guy look bad, I just want to understand what the heck he's talking about):

    "A powerful version of this circuit design would vectorize and reduce entropy towards the center of the axis. The net result is a solid state cooling circuit that eliminates the need for bulky heat sinks and cooling fans, making computers smaller and cooler and more versatile.


    My main interest in researching now is what happens when you run enough juice through one of these bad boys to remove all the excess energy from the axis. Removing all the entropic energy from a single point in a 1-dimensional superlattice would basically stop time for that single point. Pinning something to the fabric of space-time could give rise to a whole new host of applications.


    It increases the available surface area to radiate heat away by translating away from the core along that 2D space. Spreading heat over an increased surface area decreases the dissipation requirements. 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is modified, not violated.


    As for stopping time, entropy is considered to be the arrow of time. If you reverse the arrow of entropy (thermal or waste energy) in an organized structure, you've broken that arrow. 2nd law is conserved by dumping the excess at the exterior of the lattice, but the core would show a solid state reversal.

    A fridge doesn't reverse entropy because the arrow remains unbroken. It'll enter through the door and leave through the radiator. All mechanical systems produce this unbroken arrow. Quantum systems are the only ones that would allow for this new state.


    Cooling something to near zero kelvin doesn't mean absolute. Mechanical cooling systems can't do it. However, cooling something to near absolute with a mechanical system would turn the majority of these components into superconductors anyways. The net result remains unknown because it's never been attempted... yet. ... Show me a theory that predicts what will happen if something hits absolute zero. Not comes close... but actually ceases all atomic vibration. You'd be looking at a completely new quantum state of matter. One that could only exist in a superorganized closed system."

    My thermo skills are really weak, and while I can see problems with his concept of entropy an whatnot, I'm not strong enough in the area to verbalize them. I hope you folk can help me out a bit.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 7, 2006 #2


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    Don't waste your time --- he'll let the "magic smoke" out of his Peltier devices, slag his motherboard, and never be heard or seen again.
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