US DOE Researchers Announce Discovery of ‘Loophole’ in Second Law of Thermodynamics

Thanks to georgehants for posting about an announcement at the US Department of Energy’s  Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago, Illinois that researchers have proposed a way to find a ‘loophole’ in the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The Second Law states that systems naturally degenerate from order to disorder, i.e. increase in entropy, and that energy is wasted as it is transformed.

The researchers at the Argonne National Laboratory, in quantum modeling, found instances where some molecules decrease in entropy, which is contravenes the Second Law.

The following is from the ANL website here:

The Second Law is underpinned by what is called the H-theorem, which says that if you open a door between two rooms, one hot and one cold, they will eventually settle into lukewarm equilibrium; the hot room will never end up hotter.

But even in the twentieth century, as our knowledge of quantum mechanics advanced, we didn’t fully understand the fundamental physical origins of the H-theorem.

Recent advancements in a field called quantum information theory offered a mathematical construction in which entropy increases.

“What we did was formulate how these beautiful abstract mathematical theories could be connected to our crude reality,” said Valerii Vinokur, an Argonne Distinguished Fellow and corresponding author on the study.

The scientists took quantum information theory, which is based on abstract mathematical systems, and applied it to condensed matter physics, a well-explored field with many known laws and experiments.

So far this research has been only carried out on a theoretical level; the researchers next plan to work with experimentalists to build a proof-of-concept demonstration. If it is successful there may be practical applications. Valerii Vinokur states “This provides us a platform for the practical realization of a quantum Maxwell’s demon, which could make possible a local quantum perpetual motion machine.”

  • It’s only a hop, skip and a jump from this type of thinking to the E-Cat and similar technologies.

    • roseland67


      That’s a mighty big jump amigo

      • I said “type of thinking,” I’m not talking about specific energy devices. Once you remove objections about 2nd-law thermodynamic violations you’ve removed a big hurdle for conventional scientists. It’s usually the first thing they bring up when you mention technology like the E-Cat.

  • Gerard McEk

    Interestingly the recently translated report describing the Unitary Quantum Theory (Moscow University; published today by Peter Gluck in EgoOut) seems to support this very much:

  • Stefenski

    ‘The Second Law states that systems naturally degenerate from order to disorder’

    That’s not really true , although it is often repeated.

    It has nothing to say on the concept of order or disorder.

    Another Frank , Frank Lambert

    has done a lot of work in removing this erroneous idea from modern textbooks I believe.
    ‘If liquid water at 273K, with its 10^1,991,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
    accessible microstates is considered “disorderly”, how can ice at 273 K
    that has 10^1,299,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 accessible microstates be considered “orderly”?
    order and disorder are inappropriate in discussing entropy change’

  • Bruce__H

    Isn’t this just another case of the usual sort of violation of classical laws on the quantumn scale? Once you add up the amplitudes for all possible ways ways that things can work out the violations cancel and you are left with a macroscopic system that obeys classical laws.

    In the Argonne Lab article they speculate that a local violation could establish a “local perpetual motion device”. But I don’t see how this would then be a local (in time) violation.

    Also …

    “Recent advancements in a field called quantum information theory offered a mathematical construction in which entropy increases.”

    Shouldn’t that read “…in which entropy decreases”? Am I misreading this?

    • colodude

      I think you’re right that it should, and globally is just a “wordo”, or locally, a “typo”. (;-?)

    • Yes, I also think they mean’t entropy decreases.

  • Ophelia Rump

    The entire notion of entropy is always overstated.
    It is less of a law and more of a perspective.

    If order could only fall into disorder and order could not come from disorder, then there would be no order.

    Ask Boltzmann about his Brain, enough said.

    • Twobob

      Have I got this rite.
      From order comes disorder,
      Disorder thus forms order,
      for order to disorder?

      • Ophelia Rump

        You know it’s correct when it hurts your head.
        Curiously human beings seem to be the cure for disorder, we have a knack for stacking layers of order in synergies. As unlikely as that may seem juxtaposed to the daily news.

        • Bernie Koppenhofer


        • Gerard McEk

          Right, we (our will) are the ordering seeds in the chaos. Without us there cannot be order and will the entropy always turn into chaos. Good (Gods, intelligence) orders and separates warm and cold, light and dark; bad (Devils, stupidity) diffuses and cause disorder into chaos, nothing.

        • Rene

          From The Space Child’s Mother Goose
          1958, Frederick Winsor:

          Embryonic, zoonic,
          Tectonic, cyclonic,
          We humans are never humane.
          Explosion, erosion,
          Corrosion, implosion—
          And back into Chaos again!

      • radvar

        I’d like mine with fries

        • Omega Z

          I’d like a double order and super size me please.

  • Gee, I wonder if this could help to explain how The Orbo Power Pack works. I remember that, some months ago, on one of the posts about Steorn, I posted, in the comments section, about the possibility that maybe, just maybe, “energy” as we think of it is not a real, absolute thing, but, maybe, what we think of as “energy” may just be a metaphor that works most of the time, but, in rare occasions, breaks down, which would allow for the possibility of a process that, unless it is stopped, externally, really will just go on forever. Maybe these dudes figured out one of those rare occasions.

    • Ciaranjay

      I suspect the Orbo is based on a weird quantum effect such that it works, but only when no-one is observing it or measuring it.

  • georgehants

    Good to see the Quantum guys again standing up against the scientific religious, Dogmatic, education that has mostly kept it in the the dark ages for over a hundred years.
    Plank proposed the Quantum theory in 1900 and until 1950 a few great characters open-mindedly followed the Evidence to it’s foundations with the technology and brilliant minds then available.
    It was then abandoned by most as unbelievable magic and only the usual weapons of destruction became important.
    In recent years with the possibility of the Quantum computer and it’s code breaking potential it has risen again like the Phoenix.
    Everything is Quantum at base, any investigation at a higher level is just tinkering, like ancient people trying to find out how a radio talks by looking at the valves etc. inside and wondering where the people are hiding.
    One day, hopefully, science will start to examine seriously all Evidence of anomalies.
    Even Cold Fusion may become respectable.
    There is nothing quite so tragic as a young cynic…gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.
    Maya Angelou

  • Observer

    Entropy, from a quantum mechanics perspective, is defined as the log of the density of states. Given a random walk of discernible parameters, the density of states increases over time. Selective forces (walls and cliffs) limit the expansion of the density of states. Selective forces that vary over time can reduce the density of states.

  • TVulgaris

    His scene in that wonderful silly movie was an apotheosis of sorts, it brought me to tears of joy (quite seriously…)

    At a more practical level, there is an analogy from modern pop psychology about “faking it ’til you make it” that is effective often enough to belie what rational analysis dictates is even possible, and the example of the entire field of psychosomatic medicine with enough data to destroy any chance of positing “Laws” of chemistry, biology, neuro-chem, etc.
    EVERYTHING winds up behaving statistically, with outlying instances the only unconditionally certain events.

  • Omega Z

    Dimensions of the Quark given by Rossi.

    length 2 cm . . . 0.787 inches
    Diam 0.6 cm . . . 0.236 inches
    Rating 20 W

    Made up of Alumina Ceramic likely looks much like a ceramic fuse.

  • georgehants

    Science Alert
    A new type of atomic bond has been discovered
    And it forms a whole new class of molecules.
    For the first time, physicists have observed a strange molecule called the butterfly Rydberg molecule – a weak pairing of highly excitable atoms that was first predicted back in 2002.
    The find not only confirms a 14-year-old prediction – it also confirms the existence of a whole new type of atomic bond.
    Rydberg molecules form when an electron is kicked far from an atom’s nucleus, making them super electronically excited.

  • Jimr

    I believe it is 6mm or .6cm not .6mm by 2cm. The size of a 22 long rifle shell casing.

  • Zephir
  • sam

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.