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Thread: Two Capacitor Paradox

  1. #1

    Two Capacitor Paradox

    This is something that has been rattling around in the back of my head for some time. I haven't seen this discussed on energetic forum or here so decided to post. I initially felt, I must be ignorant of something, some other equation. After looking into it on the interwebs, it turns out, no, it just doesn't make any sense after all, whew, what a relief I don't know if my title is the correct name but here is the problem.

    Take one 1mF capacitor and charge it to 20 volts. The energy in this capacitor is given by the equation 1/2 CV2 so 20 sqrd is 400 divided by 2 is 200 times the capacitance = 200mJ. That is the energy in that cap.

    Now discharge that cap into an identical 1mF cap. The potential difference between the two will equalize and you are left with two 1mF caps at 10 Volts. The energy in cap one is 100/2 * 1mF = 50 mJ the energy in the second cap is of course identical. 50+50=100mJ.

    Duh, which way did he go, 100 mJ went away. As far as I can see there isn't a simple or good explanation for this. There is talk of heat dissipation. I will have to pay closer attention going forward, but I have an IR thermometer and never notice the discharging cap heating up. I would think for people doing cap discharges with a Bedini set-up if half the energy were lost in heat one might have a nice little space heater from the discharge cap. I've heard talk of EM radiation. Really? What wavelength, is it dangerous, where are the doctoral dissertations documenting such? The other approach is just throw a lot of integral symbols, natural logs and dot products and conclude at the end, nothing to see here. Again, I haven't heard evidence accounting for the loss or a reasonable explanation. The basic defence seems to be well you can have conservation of charge or conservation of energy so it's okay in this case we violate conservation of energy because we retain conservation of charge. It appears to be a problem with definitions, I'm reminded of what Tom Bearden said that we don't have a clear definition of energy.

    This is the first link I found on this conundrum https://www.physicsforums.com/thread...charge.286555/ but wait there's more
    http://mathscinotes.com/2010/06/the-...-my-first-job/
    The second link is actually more interesting. It describes how a new college grad was interviewed by Hewlet Packard and they give him the following problem. You have a ten volt one farad cap, you can discharge it into another 1F cap or into a million 1uF caps. Which will discharge the starting cap more and what will be the final voltage. I'm a bit weak on math but the author describes how discharging the 1 F cap into numerous caps (that together add up to 1F) will result in all caps equalling 3.67 volts. Likely needless to say this miffed some of the commentors. Now you haven't only violated conservation of energy you have also violated conservation of charge, As one said, where did 2.66 coulombs of charge go? Worse you can't argue that this is some sort of loss in the system because it is all theoretical based only from the definitions and applying principals of math, no wonder they were upset and said he had to be wrong. He was hired the same day by HP.

    But wait there's more. In one of the replys to the comments the author linked to a video of "introvertebrate". Well, IV, built a Bedini soild state pulse charger and then demonstrated how discharging a 12 volt cap to another cap w/o the charger led to both at 6 Volts. If the same discharge were done through the pulse charger both ended at 7.5 volts. While this is not a net energy gain it does violate conservation of charge, to the positive side this time.

    I have to guess there is a very good reason why energy in a cap is defined as 1/2cv2. So I can only surmise that if such energy were driving a resistive load, a motor or possibly an electrochemical reaction, it would fit with the textbook. It certainly doesn't going from cap to cap and from my experience small cap to big cap is far less than 50% efficient.

    In any event let's just back up for a moment. You have what would seem to be the simplest of all energy transfer occurrences in electromagnetics, discharging one cap into an identical cap. It does not follow, i.e. it repudiates, the law of conservation of energy without a good explanation. It does follow the law of conservation of charge, unless you discharge it into two caps in which case it repudiates the law of conservation of charge by having too little charge, unless you pulse discharge through an inductor in which case you end up with too much charge. Aren't these laws supposed to be laws because no one has seen exceptions? I have no formal electromagnetics background or experience, I do know enough of the world to say the three words you will never hear from a professor, MIT or otherwise are "I don't know". Still this is one cap discharging into another identical cap and the "laws" seem to be gibberish in trying to explain it. At this point the Star Trek episode return of the Archons comes to mind and I can see McCoy coming up to me Zombie like "Peace and Joy of Landriu Friend, are you of the body? Eh? Guards Heretic! Heretic!! Eh, Landrieu I recant, I recant, To hell with electrons, with planets, there is no perpetual motion, the sun won't rise tomorrow. The LAWS are valid, they are one ... conservation of energy, conservation of charge, conservation of energy, conservation of charge, ahhhhh, I am of the body, say you aren't looking to hire are you?
    Last edited by ZPDM; 06-10-2016 at 03:36 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Faraday88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZPDM View Post
    This is something that has been rattling around in the back of my head for some time. I haven't seen this discussed on energetic forum or here so decided to post. I initially felt, I must be ignorant of something, some other equation. After looking into it on the interwebs, it turns out, no, it just doesn't make any sense after all, whew, what a relief I don't know if my title is the correct name but here is the problem.

    Take one 1mF capacitor and charge it to 20 volts. The energy in this capacitor is given by the equation 1/2 CV2 so 20 sqrd is 400 divided by 2 is 200 times the capacitance = 200mJ. That is the energy in that cap.

    Now discharge that cap into an identical 1mF cap. The potential difference between the two will equalize and you are left with two 1mF caps at 10 Volts. The energy in cap one is 100/2 * 1mF = 50 mJ the energy in the second cap is of course identical. 50+50=100mJ.

    Duh, which way did he go, 100 mJ went away. As far as I can see there isn't a simple or good explanation for this. There is talk of heat dissipation. I will have to pay closer attention going forward, but I have an IR thermometer and never notice the discharging cap heating up. I would think for people doing cap discharges with a Bedini set-up if half the energy were lost in heat one might have a nice little space heater from the discharge cap. I've heard talk of EM radiation. Really? What wavelength, is it dangerous, where are the doctoral dissertations documenting such? The other approach is just throw a lot of integral symbols, natural logs and dot products and conclude at the end, nothing to see here. Again, I haven't heard evidence accounting for the loss or a reasonable explanation. The basic defence seems to be well you can have conservation of charge or conservation of energy so it's okay in this case we violate conservation of energy because we retain conservation of charge. It appears to be a problem with definitions, I'm reminded of what Tom Bearden said that we don't have a clear definition of energy.

    This is the first link I found on this conundrum https://www.physicsforums.com/thread...charge.286555/ but wait there's more
    http://mathscinotes.com/2010/06/the-...-my-first-job/
    The second link is actually more interesting. It describes how a new college grad was interviewed by Hewlet Packard and they give him the following problem. You have a ten volt one farad cap, you can discharge it into another 1F cap or into a million 1uF caps. Which will discharge the starting cap more and what will be the final voltage. I'm a bit weak on math but the author describes how discharging the 1 F cap into numerous caps (that together add up to 1F) will result in all caps equalling 3.67 volts. Likely needless to say this miffed some of the commentors. Now you haven't only violated conservation of energy you have also violated conservation of charge, As one said, where did 2.66 coulombs of charge go? Worse you can't argue that this is some sort of loss in the system because it is all theoretical based only from the definitions and applying principals of math, no wonder they were upset and said he had to be wrong. He was hired the same day by HP.

    But wait there's more. In one of the replys to the comments the author linked to a video of "introvertebrate". Well, IV, built a Bedini soild state pulse charger and then demonstrated how discharging a 12 volt cap to another cap w/o the charger led to both at 6 Volts. If the same discharge were done through the pulse charger both ended at 7.5 volts. While this is not a net energy gain it does violate conservation of charge, to the positive side this time.

    I have to guess there is a very good reason why energy in a cap is defined as 1/2cv2. So I can only surmise that if such energy were driving a resistive load, a motor or possibly an electrochemical reaction, it would fit with the textbook. It certainly doesn't going from cap to cap and from my experience small cap to big cap is far less than 50% efficient.

    In any event let's just back up for a moment. You have what would seem to be the simplest of all energy transfer occurrences in electromagnetics, discharging one cap into an identical cap. It does not follow, i.e. it repudiates, the law of conservation of energy without a good explanation. It does follow the law of conservation of charge, unless you discharge it into two caps in which case it repudiates the law of conservation of charge by having too little charge, unless you pulse discharge through an inductor in which case you end up with too much charge. Aren't these laws supposed to be laws because no one has seen exceptions? I have no formal electromagnetics background or experience, I do know enough of the world to say the three words you will never hear from a professor, MIT or otherwise are "I don't know". Still this is one cap discharging into another identical cap and the "laws" seem to be gibberish in trying to explain it. At this point the Star Trek episode return of the Archons comes to mind and I can see McCoy coming up to me Zombie like "Peace and Joy of Landriu Friend, are you of the body? Eh? Guards Heretic! Heretic!! Eh, Landrieu I recant, I recant, To hell with electrons, with planets, there is no perpetual motion, the sun won't rise tomorrow. The LAWS are valid, they are one ... conservation of energy, conservation of charge, conservation of energy, conservation of charge, ahhhhh, I am of the body, say you aren't looking to hire are you?
    Hi ZPDM,

    Interesting, but not a paradox ofcourse!!!Two Cap discharging one into another.
    First of all, Energy is subtle (Vacuum) Imagine the Cap into which the first charged Cap is discharged is of Infinite Capacitance or practically speaking it is merely a Conductor.(A conductor has very high Intrinsic Capacitance).obviously the entire Energy stored is Dissipated right?? however, the question needed to be asked here is the type of Capacitor meaning an Infinitely high Capacitance will have a different Geometry of its Dielectric,as opposed to the Charged Capacitor that you would discharge into the former. the next question is how would you charge the second Capacitor? incidentally this answers why Water Explodes..Water Molecule is the second type of Capacitor discussed her.. while the first one is same as the first. this is also the key to Gray's 'Inductive' Load...
    Rgds,
    Faraday88.
    Last edited by Faraday88; 06-11-2016 at 02:24 AM.
    'Teaching can endure a quest for knowledge..but Learning solves an anomaly'

  3. #3
    It helps if you can dismiss that there are two kinds of electricity, instead of positive and negative think of it as a divided sex condition, male and female. It is the only way to store the energy. When joined it becomes one force of compression not 2 forces, it doesn't take 2 forces to compress anything. So divided it's electric potential and the amount of it's force when joined comes from speed and volume of it's release from being divided. So it's basically a time factor of the potential diminishing. A car tire is a capacitor, the inside pressure is divided from the outside pressure. A high potential and a low potential. As long as they stay divided they are both at rest, an equilibrium.
    It's simple stuff but people don't think of it like that, they believe in negative and positive electricity not negative and positive states of electricity.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Faraday88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notsure View Post
    It helps if you can dismiss that there are two kinds of electricity, instead of positive and negative think of it as a divided sex condition, male and female. It is the only way to store the energy. When joined it becomes one force of compression not 2 forces, it doesn't take 2 forces to compress anything. So divided it's electric potential and the amount of it's force when joined comes from speed and volume of it's release from being divided. So it's basically a time factor of the potential diminishing. A car tire is a capacitor, the inside pressure is divided from the outside pressure. A high potential and a low potential. As long as they stay divided they are both at rest, an equilibrium.
    It's simple stuff but people don't think of it like that, they believe in negative and positive electricity not negative and positive states of electricity.
    Good Analogy!! But the Radiant is indeed the Negative forms of its Positive counterpart form of Electricity!!!!(Hot Electricity)the best comparison is to know that Vacuum is ABSOLUTE!!..imagine the outer space which has the best- of- the- vacuum if is compared to the difference to the pressure..where does the 'sucked out' part go..????
    is Gravity the link????think think..
    Rgds,
    Faraday88.
    'Teaching can endure a quest for knowledge..but Learning solves an anomaly'

  5. #5
    The zero universe is balanced. Everything in Nature which becomes unbalanced by the exertion of any force will eventually find balance in the Cosmic vacuum, which is the one normal condition of space. It is also the CAUSE of all EFFECTS and the SOURCE of all ENERGY. Every effect in Nature which observers have attributed to gravity, and magnetism should rightly be attributed to electric potential. When you stretch a rubber band it returns to it's natural state on it's own when you let go. There are no opposite directions, or opposite forces. There are but divided sexes which exert the same force and in the same direction. The one force is compression and the one direction is spiral. That which seems to be two are one when united. They could not unite if they were pursuing opposite directions, nor could they be one if they were opposites.
    Much confusion has also been caused by the fact that the two poles extended in opposite directions from their dividing cathode and approached each other from opposite directions from an anode. This led to the belief in the opposite directions of the two kinds of electricity, one of which was assumed to attract and the other to repel. The answer to this is that polarity is not motion. It is the stillness of gravity which centers motion. It is the omnipresent zero.. It, therefore has no direction. Motion is confined only to the electric rings which are forever encircling gravity. Those rings have but one direction in their turning around their omnipresent gravity controls, but they cause two separate effects. One of these effects is centripetal and the other is centrifugal.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Faraday88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notsure View Post
    The zero universe is balanced. Everything in Nature which becomes unbalanced by the exertion of any force will eventually find balance in the Cosmic vacuum, which is the one normal condition of space. It is also the CAUSE of all EFFECTS and the SOURCE of all ENERGY. Every effect in Nature which observers have attributed to gravity, and magnetism should rightly be attributed to electric potential. When you stretch a rubber band it returns to it's natural state on it's own when you let go. There are no opposite directions, or opposite forces. There are but divided sexes which exert the same force and in the same direction. The one force is compression and the one direction is spiral. That which seems to be two are one when united. They could not unite if they were pursuing opposite directions, nor could they be one if they were opposites.
    Much confusion has also been caused by the fact that the two poles extended in opposite directions from their dividing cathode and approached each other from opposite directions from an anode. This led to the belief in the opposite directions of the two kinds of electricity, one of which was assumed to attract and the other to repel. The answer to this is that polarity is not motion. It is the stillness of gravity which centers motion. It is the omnipresent zero.. It, therefore has no direction. Motion is confined only to the electric rings which are forever encircling gravity. Those rings have but one direction in their turning around their omnipresent gravity controls, but they cause two separate effects. One of these effects is centripetal and the other is centrifugal.
    Hi Notsure,
    With all due respect to your thoughts..we all have our own way of understanding things and it is really good that way coz..otherwise you are made to believe by force!!! belief is one such thing that is Intrinsic...and Acts are Extrinsic..which one would you prefer to be pre-determined...none right? since both are correct in their places..
    the same is true with all the above discussions.. why do you think Nature exhibits its Forces in different forms..like Electricity , Magnetism, Gravity.. Vacuum ect..??
    Rgds,
    Faraday88.
    'Teaching can endure a quest for knowledge..but Learning solves an anomaly'

  7. #7
    Hi Faraday. Thanks for your thoughts, I get it now. People only want to know the how. Screw the why, because that's probably wrong too. Lesson learned.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Faraday88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notsure View Post
    Hi Faraday. Thanks for your thoughts, I get it now. People only want to know the how. Screw the why, because that's probably wrong too. Lesson learned.
    Very well...
    Rgds,
    Faraday88.
    'Teaching can endure a quest for knowledge..but Learning solves an anomaly'

  9. #9
    Parallel connections are gay.

  10. #10
    Let's explore this puzzle a little further. I would think the non free energy types might like this as it is not only not FE it is even worse than it appears conventionally. I also certainly have no insights on any of this that I am holding back, I am just flat out confused. Lastly I haven't looked at this experimentally, but I most certainly will as it will be easy to do so.

    So let's accept as a given that when a capacitor discharges into another capacitor conservation of charge holds true. We have looked at the case where a capacitor discharges once into an equally sized capacitor. Let's look now at what happens when you discharge a capacitor into a second capacitor of half the capacitance of the first disconnect the caps then discharge the larger capacitor a second time into a capacitor again of half its size.

    Energy in a cap = 1/2cV2
    Coulombs = FV
    Volts =C/F

    Cap 1: Capacitance 1 Farad, starting voltage 20 Volts Starting Joules = ((20*20)/2)*1) = 200 Joules, Staring Coulombs = 20*1 = 20
    Cap 2: Capacitance 1/2 Farad, starting voltage 0 Volts
    Cap 3: Capacitance 1/2 Farad, starting voltage 0 Volts

    In cap 1 there are 20*1 = 20 Coulombs of charge.

    Discharge cap 1 into cap 2. 20 Coulombs of charge must now be spread over 1.5 Farads of capacitance. V = C/F. V = 20/1.5 = 13.333. resting voltage of both caps equalizes to 13.333 Volts. Let's disconnect the two caps and consider the energy in the system at this point.

    Cap 1 ((13.33 *13.33)/2)*1 = 88.88 J
    Cap 2 ((13.33 *13.33)/2)*0.5 = 44.44 J
    Total Joules in system = 88.88 + 44.44 = 133.3 Joules

    Now let's discharge cap 1 into cap 3. In this case 13.33 Coulombs are spread out into 1.5 F. 13.33/1.5 = 8.88. So resting voltage of caps 1 and 3 will be 8.88 V.

    Cap 1: 8.88V 1 F coulombs= 8.88. energy ((8.88*8.88)/2)*1 = 39.43 J
    Cap 2: 13.33V 1/2F coulombs =6.66. energy ((13.33 *13.33)/2)*0.5 = 44.44 J
    Cap 3: 8.88V 1/2 F coulombs =4.44. energy ((8.88*8.88)/2)*1/2 = 19.71

    Ending Coulombs 19.98 = 20 within rounding errors
    Ending Joules = 103.58 Joules give or take a couple tenths of a joule.

    So again if you discharge a 20V 1 F cap into a second empty 1 F cap you end up with both caps at 10 V and ending energy of system equal to 100J, The same cap discharged twice, into two caps of half size led to ending energy of 103 J and after only one discharge you had 133 J.

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