The Tom Bearden

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Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2002 11:22:55 -0600

Dear Steve,

No, I do not examine other people's work in that fashion.

These days, I'm so physically limited that I cannot take on any new projects, but am steadily shucking old ones.  Just now I've been on a thermodynamics project for more than three months, and have at least three more months to go.  It's a real bear, and I'm having great difficulty doing it justice. The forefront of thermodynamics is exciting these days, but it is also still suffering from hoary old ideas long molded on the vine, so to speak.  We are trying to indicate where we think thermodynamics will eventually go: to the exchange between active vacuum and charged matter. Our main approach is that the second law (the law of progressive entropy, i.e., progressive disordering or progressive loss of control of potential energy) is an oxymoron.  It already assumes its own contradiction has first occurred; i.e., a negentropic interaction has occurred to produce some initial ordering, and then SUBSEQUENTLY that ordering can only be disordered progressively as time passes.  That assumption of only entropic interactions subsequently is of course an assumption that no more negentropic interactions will occur.  So the second law as written and interpreted is an oxymoron and describes at best a very special case.  To really make the case for this, one must rewrite the second law (I've already done that) so it is consistent with experiment (the present one isn't always consistent, and many violations are recognized). Then to cinch the case, one needs to provide a sort of universal negentropic interaction example.  We did that in 2000 by solving the source charge problem, based on the theoretical and experimental proof of broken symmetry in 1957, resulting in a Nobel Award to Lee and Yang that same year, in Dec. 1957, after Wu et al. proved their theoretical prediction experimentally.

So that is what we're working on now.  Fortunately there are other current thermodynamics developments in research that also support that position.

Anyway, the best way for you to proceed, in my opinion, is to experiment and let the bench show you what works and what doesn't.  All the theory in the world -- my own included -- cannot refute a single replicable experiment that contradicts it.

So experiment is the king.  We obviously have to formulate some notions and concepts that we try to test or examine in the experiments, but the experiments must show the way.  Most good experiments are not just "willy-nilly".  After enough work, one forms an hypothesis about the way something or some interaction should behave (or might behave).  Then one does one or more experiments to test it.  Often it will seem to partially behave that way, but not completely.   This tells you then that your initial hypothesis is not accurate or complete enough, so you try to adjust or refine it based on what your experiments have now show.  And so you proceed this way, in a series of iterative trials, hypothesis formation and adjustment, etc.  That is the experimental method.

Also, in any area you choose to experiment in, I heartily recommend you make a long term commitment to do it right, to get thoroughly organized in that area, and start your education in that area.  It helps immensely to find out what is already known in materials science, e.g., about magnets and magnetic interactions, if that is the area you are interested in.  There are different levels of books on the subject one can buy and study.  A very useful one, particularly for the engineer or technician starting in, is written for engineers so it is understandable.  That is B. D. Cullity, Introduction to Magnetic Materials, Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, 1972.  He just presents an extensive number of magnetic effects, etc.  It's out of print, but occasionally you can surface one and purchase it on the net.  We got our copy by going to the original publisher, paying his reproduction fee, and reproducing copies for our team (from a library copy).

You can also obtain a great deal of information, including very current information, by using Google searches on the Internet.  Other search engines can be used also, of course.  Takes a bit of trying to get the handle of how to specify the descriptors, but you can cut into a great cross section of materials.  With some work you can cull out the inapplicable papers, and compile a database of the useful ones.  Many scientists these days have their own websites, and on them they often post their current and past journal papers.  E.g., simply take a look at the website of Dr. Michael Berry, who extended the Aharonov-Bohm effect into the Berry phase (it was later generalized further by Aharonov and Anandan into purely geometric phase).  That's an example; Berry has many of his seminal papers there, and they are freely downloadable.

Increasingly many of the journals are opening up more of their journal material on their website. If you are a serious researcher for the long run, then you will need to subscribe to several of these, to "keep up with what's happening".  E.g., Physics Today, Physics World, New Scientist, American Journal of Physics are four of the dozen or so  I subscribe to. Subscription gives you a member number, and with it you can arrange to access the journal on line and download articles of direct interest to your project.

Literature research is not easy, although it's a bit easier than it used to be, when one had to do most everything at the technical library, with agonizing hours of searching the shelves and card catalogs, slowly finding one article at a time, then finding the journal and copying that article (on the old copy machines which were nearly useless, poorly maintained if at all, and frustratingly slow).

You will need to compile an organized database of your own, as well.  Later, you will find that you will have made a few errors here and there along the way, and so you periodically need to "verify" (recheck against the original source) parts of your database to be sure you weed out errors.  That's called a "validated" database.  You will wind up with a collection of papers and books of interest, which you need to also organize by some library type system so you can find them.  Otherwise, you will find yourself having "piles" instead of "files", and will be at great disadvantage to find anything.

Anyway, that's basically the research approach you should use if seriously committed.  Use a combination of bench research, hypothesis formulation and revision, data base compilation and validation, and filing arrangement.  You will have files both on the computer as data and in hard copy as real world stuff.

And very importantly, when you do bench experiments, be sure to keep a careful laboratory notebook.  Yes, today you will clearly remember the details of that experiment you did yesterday.  But a year from now and a hundred more experiments since then, you will be hard put to remember what you did and when.  If it's carefully documented (purpose, procedure description, equipment description, measurement techniques used, illustrative sketch(es), and results of each experimental run, you will have it clear from now on, and can easily refer to it.  That becomes a vital part of your data base information and results.

For the rest, do the experiments and let the bench show you what works. Formulate hypotheses about how "it ought to work or might work" and test them out.

So that's what's involved.  It's not glamorous, but it can be immensely intriguing and interesting when you stumble across some new results or effects and start to run them down methodically.

Best wishes in your research,

Tom Bearden

Sent: Tuesday, November 26, 2002 9:09 AM
To: Tom Bearden Subject: Fwd: Question


I have a question for Tom Bearden. I was working extensively with magnets to derive power without input.  I concluded the only chance for success was to focus on 'differential' force/attraction.  I have a schematic of a relatively simple device that first draws magnets "through" air, then mutually contact them by soft iron (for it's permeability advantage over air), and keep in contact on an appreciable amount of surface area, therefore, hopefully, allowing the rotating magnet to continue away. My question is, would Mr. Bearden be willing to confidentially look at and critique the arrangement (it is a single gif image) before I ask machine shops to fabricate intricate parts from soft iron?