Why Isothermal Heat Engines Do Not Exist on Google

Dec 27, 2022
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This is a sensation:

"Scientists have developed a special heat-sensitive polymer that's capable of lifting 1,000 times its own weight and quickly contracting back to its original shape." http://www.sciencealert.com/this-new-shape-shifting-polymer-can-lift-1-000-times-its-own-weight

The isothermal analogue is not a sensation - apart from the authors, nobody knows about it:

"When the pH is lowered (that is, on raising the chemical potential, μ, of the protons present) at the isothermal condition of 37°C, these matrices can exert forces, f, sufficient to lift weights that are a thousand times their dry weight." https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/12/1d/09/0fb416e99018cf/US5393602.pdf

Rubber band heat engines are popular:

"Stretchy Science: A Rubber Band Heat Engine. Learn how a rubber band can turn heat into mechanical work..." https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/bring-science-home-rubber-band-heat/

The isothermal analogues are known only to their authors:

Figure 4 here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1367611/pdf/biophysj00645-0017.pdf

The upper picture here:

jp972167tf00016.gif


Why does the scientific community know nothing about isothermal heat engines? Because they OBVIOUSLY violate the second law of thermodynamics - a simple analysis would show that. So in this case ordinary underestimation is not enough - such systems should not exist in the media. Search Google for "isothermal heat engines" and you will find no essential information. Wikipedia, for instance, has never mentioned them.
 
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"Gels are known to change their volume in response to alteration of the environmental parameters. The change in volume results from the absorption or release of the fluid and may reach hundreds and even thousands percent. Often it is accompanied by considerable swelling force. Gels that demonstrate substantial (and often abrupt) volume change in response to small environmental change and gels that are selective to a specific stimulus are called stimuli-responsive or responsive gels (SRGs)...The amount of mechanical work that the gel is able to produce is important for applications where the gel is employed as an actuator. The work is proportional to both generated force and displacement..." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5365095/

Imagine that the stimulus is some solute and its concentration is repeatedly increased and then decreased. The gel does mechanical work in each cycle, so we have an isothermal heat engine. What prevents theoretical physicists and theoretical chemists from thinking in this direction?

George Orwell: "Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity."
 
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The fraudulent definition of heat engine:

"In thermodynamics and engineering, a heat engine is a system that converts heat to usable energy, particularly mechanical energy, which can then be used to do mechanical work. While originally conceived in the context of mechanical energy, the concept of the heat engine has been applied to various other kinds of energy, particularly electrical, since at least the late 19th century. THE HEAT ENGINE DOES THIS BY BRINGING A WORKING SUBSTANCE FROM A HIGHER STATE TEMPERATURE TO A LOWER STATE TEMPERATURE." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_engine

"A NECESSARY component of a heat engine, then, is that TWO TEMPERATURES ARE INVOLVED. At one stage the system is heated, at another it is cooled." http://physics.bu.edu/~duffy/py105/Heatengines.html

Post-truth science par excellence, no?

The metastases of Einstein's 1905 constant-speed-of-light malignancy definitively killed physics, but this branch of science was already in agony in 1905, overwhelmed by the metastases of another malignancy - the second law of thermodynamics. In some respects, the ideology of thermodynamics is stronger than the ideology of relativity. Relativity deniers are just crackpots, cranks, trolls while the second law deniers are insane perpetuum mobile constructors, which is worse. So one cannot say "The second law of thermodynamics is false". It is much safer to use the euphemism "The second law of thermodynamics is obscure":

Jos Uffink: "I therefore argue for the view that THE SECOND LAW HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ARROW OF TIME...Before one can claim that acquaintance with the Second Law is as indispensable to a cultural education as Macbeth or Hamlet, it should obviously be clear what this law states. This question is surprisingly difficult. The Second Law made its appearance in physics around 1850, but a half century later it was already surrounded by so much confusion that the British Association for the Advancement of Science decided to appoint a special committee with the task of providing clarity about the meaning of this law. However, its final report (Bryan 1891) did not settle the issue. Half a century later, the physicist/philosopher Bridgman still complained that there are almost as many formulations of the second law as there have been discussions of it. And EVEN TODAY, THE SECOND LAW REMAINS SO OBSCURE that it continues to attract new efforts at clarification." http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/313/1/engtot.pdf

Clifford Truesdell, The Tragicomical History of Thermodynamics, 1822-1854, p. 6: "Finally, I confess to a heartfelt hope - very slender but tough - that even some thermodynamicists of the old tribe will study this book, master the contents, and so share in my discovery: Thermodynamics need never have been the DISMAL SWAMP OF OBSCURITY that from the first it was and that today in common instruction it is; in consequence, it need not so remain."...p. 333: "Clausius' verbal statement of the "Second Law" makes no sense, for "some other change connected therewith" introduces two new and unexplained concepts: "other change" and "connection" of changes. Neither of these finds any place in Clausius' formal structure. All that remains is a Mosaic prohibition. A century of philosophers and journalists have acclaimed this commandment; a century of mathematicians have shuddered and averted their eyes from the unclean." https://www.amazon.com/Tragicomical-Thermodynamics-1822-1854-Mathematics-Physical/dp/1461394465