Saturday, July 11, 2015

II. An Unexpected Application of Virtual Closed Systems: Self Sustaining Machines

Opportunity Rover, NASA

Firstly, before we examine the implications of Virtual Closed Systems (VCS) to the interesting problem of self-sustaining machines, I want to identify some of these misconceptions. Although I’ve already discussed them they are important to identify since when they are accepted as true, then they directly interfere with understanding physical concepts here or in the grander scheme of things, make the correct evaluation of any new scientific theory irrelevant. *The latter argument is more severe, but it is accurate, as the rather blind acceptance of any current assumption without a physical basis n essence justifies the acceptance of other assumptions without physical basis.

1.       “Dissipative processes in nature are actively doing work to cause change” (we discuss this specifically. This teleology is largely taking the form of Constructive Law but also other postulates.

2.       Molecules can evolve and even select themselves. (see links)

3.       Salt gradients can remove “waste” molecules from a system. Again, this is an assumption that nature is actively doing work in an ‘open system’. As with the continuous cooling coffee mug” we see that entropy is ‘maximized’ continuously in natural systems, as any VCS is in continuous physical contact with any other region at all times, hence the notion of continuity.

4.       A surprising result gained from testing VCS theory is that such natural “engines” even if they exist, would not fully account for how life currently obtains energy and removes entropy. What has not been recognized is that the force of entropy can be at a maximum within a cell, and still must be opposed by the cellular system. That opposition (to the tendency toward S in requires an impetus or opposing force FN or FL.

[One of the real burdens of describing my theories is to attempt to overcome the stereotypes that have been created en masse. The evolutionary scientists (or perhaps we should say ‘those who utilize the selection model, in chemistry or in biology) have already created preconceived notions in people's heads that alert them to theories which offer alternative perspectives, (i.e. to ‘selection theory’) and to automatically ignore them. It is rather brilliant psychology on their part. (Little wonder there's an outpost on the fringe of this empire known as evolutionary psychology). They even have some of the physicists whom I greatly respect, such as Hawking, essentially going along with this way of thinking. But one of the effective tools they use is to engage and foment creationist sentiments, thus creating a villianous anti science meme that they can invoke at will, against anyone they perceive as a threat to their ideas. They have gone to the press to create this strawman so large and well known that it is very difficult for many not to step into it and avoid their use of that label. [To get some appreciation for just how far these "tendrils" have expanded, look no further than the current debate about "free will." Press this button as I have just possibly done here, and you will be automatically relegated to that of a non-scientist, "a believer".] The villainous anti-science meme is not isolated to evolutionary scientists, but is used against their own, including physicists, who often raise their hands and say “…I’m not saying evolution is wrong”) and one need not look very far in the science commentary sections of major papers for recent examples. But it is hoped that if we state that invoking "selection" is not a recognized or valid chemical term, force, or impetus, it should not give valid cause to immediately stop reading this article.

The other stereotypes they play to great effect is the "intitutionalization" or “credibility” card. They have created an institution around their scientific ideas, but not only that, many of the basic tennets that I am proposing to overturn, to challenge, are essentially the sacred cow theories that are taught in higher education, i.e. “life agrees with the second law” or mis-education about what a force actually is, or entropy, or basic causality, so the education problem is significant hurdle to any new thinking outside that requires new operators or paradigms outside that perimeter, and frankly I'm not sure students in this day and age are even given the right tools and open background in which to objectively evaluate in a truly evidence based approach, what the best theory is, or what precisely should be the criteria of a theory. This is in my opinion a STEM problem. As I noted in an earlier post on “Constr…Law” a Physics Educational Board has adopted Constructal Law into their curriculum. In my opinion thermodynamics will need to change in order to come to terms with the problems that it cannot currently solve, and with new rules of causality, it is stuck in the days of Boltzmann and Carnot.

In other respects, I have mapped to some extent the reactions to my theory, (which manifests or is embodied as a critique of cyrrent theories) and the main one I encounter is a complete lack of understanding of its basic principals. They grasp part of it, but it is usually only that crucial aspect that apparently disagrees with other theory. These are apparently, scientifically educated people. I've heard them say "the forces in nature are not balanced as you say, but are continuously out of balance." That is entirely the wrong meaning, and a hostile reading of what I stated. I was speaking of normal forces as it relates mathematically, to a larger principal. Have they not actually read or studied Newton's laws of motion, the essence of what a force is?

Some are unable to even consider it, because I can detect that they have attached some extraneous meaning a false premise, which is used to reject it out of hand. I bring these issue to light because I engage other theories only for the purpose of testing their predictions in the context of the unexplained phenomena I have described here, i.e. that "self-evolving" molecules, a favorite go-to of evo theorists, do not explain chemistry in any way and misguide it.]


Now, I want to turn to the issue of how machines can self-maintain themselves, an issue we discussed previously.

One of the other aspects of this problem is in definitions and observations. I would ask of a reader of my theory, the following. Do you believe that a mechanical device can sustain itself without human intervention?
No? Or, Yes?

[And by “sustain itself" we are asking theoretically speaking, because to do so it will encounter Q number of events thwarting it, and it will have to have R number of responses. However the response or maintenance we realize will have to come from systems which are themselves subject to degradation, and so these too will have to be maintained. The clock starts we realize, the moment after these systems are manufactured by humans, both on their energy source but also materials. We note further, that the clock begins on the systems that make new systems, in other words "without intervention" means it is isolated and so the machine making new machines, say on Mars, would be subject to the same law of degradation, what makes the new factory parts..etc? And so those who believe that machines will "take over" the earth are largely engaged in a kind of fantasy world or at least they have no basis to resolve the paradox just described here. But we turn away from this momentarily to ask the more pressing question:] 

If biological and mechanical devices are equivalent as many have said, does this mean that biological devices should not be sustainable?

See also my definition, or basic principal I wrote yesterday, Friday..(June 3'15

That question goes to the heart of the issue I've raised in the virtual closed system model. And I'm not sure the argument is entirely understood. Let's assume the answer is yes, a machine will require human intervention to continue operation. [Such a question is highly relevant to autonomous machines, for example machines like the Curiosity rover on Mars, and the problem of how to make them more self-sustaining, or even independent.] I've postulated this to be reflective or resultant of an underlying principal of a system that not only behaves, as it is closed, but also can be seen to be deficient in a certain form of useful energy, the kind that can do work. We answer yes, because we see that not only does the machine run out of reserve, potential energy, it also exhausts its supply of another form of energy, energy capable of doing useful work, so that its potential entropy decreases. What can be seen is that in this situation it is deficient of this, which I believe I've called "relative entropy" and we've defined it as total energy required in Eo to include all of imputed energy flowing into the system. I've kept it very general as its obvious that even at the most basic level, I'm not going to be agrreed with on this entropy. Most will assert that the robot or machine, only requires human intervention because it is not advanced enough yet, not because of a basic thermodynanic barrier.

I'll return to that point, but I want to discuss the other implication that is derived from this answer "yes". Because we also made the correlation between inanimate and animate machines here, under this postulate as a test , and many probably will see its a test if the second law as it relates to living things. Once equated, which I justified by invoking one of Newton's rules of philosophy, (though we can just equate it anyway for argument, we don't need his permission!) Then we can ask, do living machines also have the same dilemma? In the system that they are contained in, a virtual system with energy entering and leaving, will they undergo a senessence identical to any other organized machine? Why , or why not? As I said in my paper, the answer is 'not' , and the reason is because living machines" acquire energy from the outside , from the sun. And these are plants. Plants ARE moving, highly structured, elborate "machines". We don't have to think of mobile creatures to get sophisticated- plants are incredibly sophisticated, and derive their energy directly from sunlight. No middleman required.

[*So in this sense this theory is actually quite useful. It predicts that for machines to be self sufficient, they would need to extract energy just like plants. But it raises an interesting question, is the solar energy they extract really the total energy needed for self-maintenance, i.e. to avoid the dilemma facing the Martian robot all on its own? In other words, does this theory correctly predict that another kind of energy is necessary, this relative entropy" and is extracted by plants since they are essentially mechanical and do work on their environment, and are independent. So we would be talking about a completely new kind of energy extraction required, one that is somehow extracting relative entropy from sunlight to be used by the isolated factory and machines to sustain themselves, it must be sufficient in extraction efficiency, to overcome the positive entropy accumulating in that system.]


I want to go back to the equilibrium statement, [where I discussed equilibrium in terms of Condition I or II] I mention the minor condition of 3 b.y. (billion years) that's a critical point. We have already this experimental case of plants, a 'machine' that sustains itself by using energy from sunlight, as a test case of the virtual closed system that is for all intents, perpetual. Those who claim it is not, even theoretically perpetual, I believe should provide evidence to the contrary (as we have not "theoretical" case in which they are not). I say 3 billion years may as well be perpetual. That to me is a dilemma worth considering, because of, and in light of, the barrier encountered by the complex robot in the previous example. In light of the answer "yes" complex machines will always require human intervention, as they CANNOT operate continuously in a closed system. Critically, nor can they operate in virtual closed systems, which I propose can exist within open systems.

That brings us to the other issues of energy inputs and equilibriums, particularly entropy equilibrium , of the system with the outside.

Why can't a machine like curiosity, run perpetually? The key realization here is that it lacks the input of a critical energy, relative entropy, and I posit further, that there is no way physically for it to gain this back. Yes it is an ingenious device, it will run for a long time, but its lifetime is limited by availability not of potential energy of solar or nuclear power, which is indefinite, but by depletion of this "relative entropy", another form of entropy.

So the question is, how do living machines exist, and how do they sustain themsleves as perpetual "machines?"

With this theory, of VCS, we can see that the problem of understanding the origin of life is  surprisingly, and intricately, related to the practical problem of how to make machines that are capable of exploring the vast reaches of our solar system and beyond. It predicts that although these machines may be built to extract energy from their surroundings, solar or other, this form of energy may not be sufficient, as such an isolated machine is located in a system in which it is being depleted of relative entropy to maintain itself. We are speaking hypothetically, as there is no current means to extract this relative entropy from a source such as sunlight. Based on the VCS theory, we can conclude that living things, which are bio mechanical and self-sufficient even in a virtual closed system, are able to extract this form of energy to offset their own increase in entropy.

The other implication that may be apparent is that in conventional machines there is no FL, that is FL =0, despite the input of energy. Why is that? This is a rather surprising finding. particularly since it appears to be obvious that machines do a great deal of work. If I throw a ball down a mountain, the ball will do new work, that is work not on average produced by the mountain's natural erosion. I will effect a change in doing so. Likewise if I build a contraption that lodges itself in a river, and diverts the course of the stream in any way, this also does some net work in addition to the level normally expected in the system. Such manipulations are measurable and real. The machine does oppose certain forces and does work, but this work, in terms of its net average against the system, does not exceed FsubL. The work it does is identical to the work my heavy ball does in rolling down the hillside. The critical notion is to realize the continuum principal at work and the Normalized forces surrounding the system. the consequence of the net forces "exerted" by the machine predicts that such a machine cannot be self-sustaining. It does work in one respect, but fails to do work, to oppose the tendency the net force vectors which are tearing its structure apart. The machine, we realize in a VCS model, does not oppose any of the surrounding forces, but instead, diverts these to a lower form of energy. But there is no difference between the energy I am "winding up" in the ball, which then converts to kinetic energy as it collides, and the energy stored in the gas tank of a machine. This relates again to "relative entropy" the inability to extract this form of energy from the rather abundant solar energy flowing through the VCS, which comprises the total energy, Eo, incident on the system. FL is opposed by FN the normal force opposing it, as we've described elsewhere.