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A New Spin On Physical Phenomena

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the give-it-a-whirl dept.

Science 249

f00Dave writes "Researchers have discovered "a new physical phenomenon, electrostatic rotation, that, in the absence of friction, leads to spin". I'm a bit skeptical about the implied relationship between physical "spin" (as in rotation) and quantum "spin", however. Still, this is the sort of scientific advance that renews my faith in the system. Go nerds! =]"

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already done? (5, Funny)

EvilStein (414640) | more than 11 years ago | (#5662904)

Hey, isn't that where they stick a piece of buttered toast to the back of a cat and let it rip?

I never could get that working. My damn cat always ate the toast.. the fat bastard.

Re:already done? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5662922)

You could always fack you cat up the ass if you want it to spin

yeah baby yeah!

Re:already done? (5, Funny)

Syncroswitch (656450) | more than 11 years ago | (#5662953)

After you tape the toast to the cat, you have to seal it in a blackbox, flip the box over, the cat will be suspended by the conflicted laws of phsics. unfortunetly you cannot observe it, as soon as you open the box, the cat will have eaten the toast. an interesting note, while the cat is in the box, and unobserved, he knows the correct keys to all possible encryptions. Dont tell the humane society OK...

Re:already done? (1)

Nightpaw (18207) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663263)

...and can speak Chinese.

Weird Coincidence (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5662980)

Odd you'd mention cats when I was just looking at this kitten page! [b3ta.com]

I know this is off topic; but I thought the coincidence was amazing!

Re:already done? (1)

sixdotoh (584811) | more than 11 years ago | (#5662994)

that's how those so-called "mag-lev" trains really work, right? of course, those must have well fed cats that are trained to leave the toast alone, although i'm having trouble figuring out exactly HOW your fat cat could eat a piece of toast strapped to its back.

my stupid cat couldn't even eat a potato chip balanced on top of its head (funny stuff)

Obligatory Simpsons Reference (2, Funny)

drachenfyre (550754) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663057)

Lisa, you will obey the laws of thermodynamics in my house.

Re:Obligatory Simpsons Reference (1)

The Only Druid (587299) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663180)

Arg, its not hard to quote accurately, it just came up in a post repeatedly like a week ago:

"Lisa, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!"

Re:already done? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5663140)

I used to put a piece of clear tape on the back of my miniture hamsters. They then became miniture tazmanian devils just like in the cartoons.

Output? (3, Interesting)

swordboy (472941) | more than 11 years ago | (#5662918)

If there can be no friction, then there can be no output. What usefulness does a spinning object with no output provide, anyway?

Re:Output? (2, Interesting)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 11 years ago | (#5662932)

It's a great way to accelerate one of those bicycle-wheel space stations up to speed so they have pseudo-gravity.

Jasom
ProfQuotes [profquotes.com]

You forget... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5662949)

science does not always have to be usefull.

Re:Output? (2, Insightful)

Madsci (616781) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663046)

Thats the equivalent of saying, "Magnets can't give us free energy, so they must be useless" Do you yield energy? Are you useful? Wait... forgot who I was talking to.

Re:Output? (2, Insightful)

einer (459199) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663087)

It is another premise on which to build theories and further our understanding of the nature of the universe. This was made clear in the first paragraph.

Re:Output? (4, Interesting)

pVoid (607584) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663117)

No friction basically means that the force being observed is quite small...

You have to understand that article was first translated from scientific talk to reporting talk, and now it's being translated back to /. nerd talk... (which isn't scientific talk btw).

An example is how they first found the value of the constant of gravity. They put two humoungous iron balls near eachother, and noted the very tiny torque they induced just by being near each other.

The fact that the observed effects were tiny doesn't mean they don't exist.

Re:Output? (1)

sharekk (654035) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663284)

Wouldn't the torque on the wire be a measurable output?

Sponataneous Spinning? (3, Interesting)

eenglish_ca (662371) | more than 11 years ago | (#5662928)

Sounds pretty cool. Does the object ever reach a maximum velocity or does it just keep on going? Where is the energy coming from?

Re:Sponataneous Spinning? (2, Informative)

k3v0 (592611) | more than 11 years ago | (#5662950)

the site says it spins until the tension of the thin metal wire gets too high

Re:Sponataneous Spinning? (5, Funny)

feepness (543479) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663021)

Where is the energy coming from?

It said the experiment taps the unlimited potential energy source of those who have the ability to post within seconds of a headline appearing without actually reading the article.

By their estimates, this should be enough to power mankind for the foreseeable future.

Re:Sponataneous Spinning? (1)

Mr. McGibby (41471) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663214)

It's called subscription.

Re:Sponataneous Spinning? (3, Informative)

gunnk (463227) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663133)

According to the article the answers are:

a) it spins until the tension in the wire counters the rotational force, and

b) the energy comes from the DC voltage they applied to the setup.

Re:Sponataneous Spinning? (1)

ElectricRook (264648) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663217)

I came up with a similar conclusion, posted that... Then I read the guys resume. All of his papers are about electrical spin in conductors.
Did this get published on Tuesday?

Re:Sponataneous Spinning? (1)

DrNerd (663875) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663137)

Where is the energy coming from? The energy that makes the balls spin comes from the electrostatic potential placed on the balls, which comes from a voltage source (battery, power supply, etc.)....

Right... (2, Funny)

WegianWarrior (649800) | more than 11 years ago | (#5662931)

...now my head is spinning too.

Re:Right... (2, Funny)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663059)

...then let go of those live wires!

x-KLINGONMPENIS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5662938)

___
/ | \
/_____\
/|||||||\ <- Prince of Knobstradamus hahaahaha
| o /\O |
| UUUUU | U R GHEY
\_______/

TO JOIN THE TROLL-KORE, PLEASE INSERT THE FOLLOWING GREETING AT THE BOTTOM OF YOUR POST.

We are the lowest of the low trolls;
Trolling in-between bans.

- TROLL-KORE FOREVER
- <b>I hate you, I hate your country, and I hate your face!</b>

Hmm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5662941)

a new physical phenomenon, electrostatic rotation, that, in the absence of friction, leads to spin

So how do I use this to fix the fade I cannot get rid of, regardless of time at the driving range? Otherwise this is a pointless discovery.

No more friction? (4, Insightful)

AntiGenX (589768) | more than 11 years ago | (#5662952)

I'm more excited about the "absence of friction" part...
At last my dream of building a perpetual motion machine can be realized. Take that thermodynamics!

Re:No more friction? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5663063)

the term "absence of friction" usually means "so little that it is very difficult for us to measure."

Your attempt at being pendantic was not appreciated.

Re:No more friction? (1)

AntiGenX (589768) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663131)

I didn't realize I was trying to emulate a piece of jewelry. (sorry bad pun on pendantic)

Your attempt at spelling pedantic was not appreciated.

ObSimpsons (2, Insightful)

Drakonian (518722) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663114)

In this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics!

Re:No more friction? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5663283)

[oblig-simpsons-quote]
In this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics!
[/oblig-simpsons-quote]

Dom

Equipment used (4, Funny)

Hayzeus (596826) | more than 11 years ago | (#5662954)

The cool thing about all of this was the relatively simple equipment used: three metal balls (I'm guessing Christmas tree ornaments), and a little thin wire.

This gives me renewed hope for my latest project, a hyperdrive engine built of old Spaghetti-Os cans and dental floss.

Re:Equipment used (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5663034)

Probably not Christmas tree ornaments. The ones
you're (presumably) thinking of are actually
made of glass and painted with shiny paint.

Re:Equipment used (3, Funny)

AntiGenX (589768) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663207)

Oh my God... I had the same idea! Did yours come to you in a dream of a burning president? Though I don't think I've put the parts together right. All I keep getting is a cool new alternative to the telephone. I can't wait to take out a patent before Jeff Bozo at Amazon.com beats me to it!

Re:Equipment used (2, Funny)

JonnyElvis42 (609632) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663227)

This gives me renewed hope for my latest project, a hyperdrive engine built of old Spaghetti-Os cans and dental floss.

Let me know how that goes for you. I gave up after my dental floss repeatedly broke when the ship started to approach relativistic speeds.

Re:Equipment used (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5663245)

If you can discover things with three balls and thin wire, imagine what you can discover with a 5 assed monkey!

Re:Equipment used (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663280)

This gives me renewed hope for my latest project, a hyperdrive engine built of old Spaghetti-Os cans and dental floss.

Welcome to McGiver Labs

(What, no beans this time?)

Cool, but what is the practical application? (1, Insightful)

Dukeofshadows (607689) | more than 11 years ago | (#5662955)

Unlimited spin would be nice for turntables and whatnot (imagine the mew re-mixes at ungodly RPMs) but seriously what would this be used for? I don't know much about physics, so could someone please elucidate the commercial value of this discovery?

Re:Cool, but what is the practical application? (1)

robbway (200983) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663056)

One application springs to mind: microscopic electric engines.

Re:Cool, but what is the practical application? (4, Insightful)

NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663162)

Maybe that's the cool thing about scientific curiosity - the things you discover don't have to have commercial value in order to be discovered.

Consider this: when it was determined that a current flowing in a wire produces a magnetic field, or when Faraday discovered that moving a magnet near a wire or coil of wire can produce a voltage, I'm sure a lot of people said, "but seriously, what would this be used for?" And they probably said the same thing about countless other things that were discovered in situations where the effect was so small that they had no apparent use.

Of course now we look back and say, "what a dumb question! How could they now know these things could be useful?" And maybe 200 years from now somebody will look at this archived announcement on Slashdot and say the same.

Then again, maybe this will turn out to be a misinterpretation of the experimental observation. Time will tell...

I can think of some (1)

MickLinux (579158) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663163)

Just offhand, charge and magnetism match up, in that one is the speed-of-light adjustment of the other.

So if you can get electrostatic spin, then there may be some interesting applications towards electric/mechanical energy force mechanism.

My problem is that I can't see how electrostatic spin is different from magnetism.

Oh well, it isn't important: it's their invention, not mine.

Re:Cool, but what is the practical application? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5663274)

imagine the mew re-mixes at ungodly RPMs

do I have to?

sPIN (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5662973)

I'd spin too if I were hung from a wire and electrocuted

in a system. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5662982)

Would it have to be a sphere or could it just be a closed system with no friction to the rest of the world, but friction on the inside?? perhaps some sort of self contained generator, make light or something.

Re:in a system. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5663012)

From a physics standpoint there's no difference between the two.

Renewed faith? (4, Insightful)

jgalun (8930) | more than 11 years ago | (#5662984)

I don't understand this submission:

I'm a bit skeptical about the implied relationship between physical "spin" (as in rotation) and quantum "spin", however. Still, this is the sort of scientific advance that renews my faith in the system.

What system are we talking about? Why does faith need to be renewed in it? What, have you lost faith in physics because it doesn't discover new laws every day?

Re:Renewed faith? (2, Insightful)

E1v!$ (267945) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663122)

I think he's talking about things like cold fusion, that university group faking results, etc...

Re:Renewed faith? (1)

AntiGenX (589768) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663234)

Yes, I to was losing my faith in scientology before I read this post! Go psuedo-science/religion!

Re:Renewed faith? (1)

Bob(TM) (104510) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663248)

Reading the article (for a change), I don't really see an implied relationship between the quantum and electrostatic spin concepts.

Quote:

Spin is used in quantum mechanics to explain phenomena at the nuclear, atomic, and molecular domains for which there is no concrete physical picture. "So the discovery of electrostatic rotation and the identification of electrostatic spin as a natural phenomenon opens up an entirely new field of inquiry with the potential for significant advances," Wistrom said.

Apart from the noting they have the same name and that the term 'spin' has a history of being used to encapsulate abstract phenomena, the article doesn't appear to link them.

So the guy accidentaly (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5662987)

Plugged his C cell batteries into his ben wa balls instead of his vibrating butt plug.

Why only frictionless? (2, Informative)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 11 years ago | (#5662991)

It sounds like they're saying the angular velocity will increase if the rotation is frictionless. Why won't this phenomenon cancel out at equilibrium amount of friction and keep the object spinning at constant angular momentum forever? I should also accelerate an object with a small amount of friction but at a slower rate than a frictionless object.

In any case, we're talking about building a perpetual motion machine here and throwing the first law of thermodymics out the window. This makes the cold fusion claims sound pretty tame. At least they said where they were getting their energy, here it seems to come from nowhere.

Jasom
ProfQuotes [profquotes.com]

Re:Why only frictionless? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5663061)

From the article:
"When a DC voltage was applied to the spheres..."

There's an external power source. This is NOT a "perpetual motion" machine.

Re:Why only frictionless? (1)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663138)

The article is very light on facts. Those looked like metal balls, how do I they know it wasn't an electro-static force? Does it work with those foam balls we all used to build model atoms out of? If it does work, all they have is a motor that seems to work in a similar way to any other motor, but with no practical application (because of the frictionless condition).

Jason
ProfQuotes [profquotes.com]

Re:Why only frictionless? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5663147)

Just a random guess, but perhaps they're saying "frictionless" because this is what their experiment involves. It's very likely true also, given other physical laws, that the same force would work against friction too, but their experiment hasn't shown that. Their experiment has only shown that it happens in (near-) frictionless environment, so that's what they have reported.

With regard to energy, I assume there is some flow of current somewhere. The article does say a DC voltage was applied to the spheres. It's not as if it's all that different from some familiar experiments. Two objects both with positive charges have a force between them and this force can do work, but it doesn't mean energy is coming from nowhere. On the other hand, it is unclear exactly what the process is, so it's hard to say for sure.

Re:Why only frictionless? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5663228)

> Why won't this phenomenon cancel out at equilibrium amount of friction and keep the object spinning at constant angular momentum forever?

Because kinetic friction does not depend on (angular) velocity, only on the sign of the velocity, the coefficient of friction, and the normal force:

F_f = \mu F_n.

Thus the velocity is constant only for a single value of the applied force. Above that it accelerates, and below, it stops.

lovely (1)

0x00000dcc (614432) | more than 11 years ago | (#5662992)

Don't you just love it how each and every time we get settled down in a dogmatic paradigm that dictates that most all of the "major" phenomena of science have been discovered and from here on out it's just fluff, something like this happens? Even Clinton said this would be the century of biology breakthrough, 20th century being that of physics. I think the best of physics is yet to come ... stay tuned.

Re:lovely (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663013)

This is just some evidence to support a 200 year old theory from Lord Kelvin, at least that's how I read the article. It's not a new 'discovery' so much as some proof that we were right all along about the laws of voltage potential.

Re:lovely (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5663112)

Cheater!

You read the article before commenting!
--
iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -o eth1 -s slashdot.org -j UP_MY_ASS
Better yours than mine.

Re:lovely (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5663103)

Hum..., I still like earth wind and fire.

QUOTE:
When you feel down and out
Sing a song, it'll make your day
Here's a time to shout
Sing a song, it'll make a way
Sometimes it's hard to care
Sing a song, it'll make your day
A smile so hard to bear
Sing a song, it'll make a way

What's this supposed ' lack of friction?' (2, Insightful)

SolemnDragon (593956) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663004)

Nowhere do i see the words, "in a vacuum." So that leaves, 'without friction' as an useless phrase? or maybe this is a standard term that i'm missing? Me, i'd assume that spinning in air causes friction (not to mention dizziness.)


Now if they want to measure political spin, we have to wait to see what research grants they apply for next...(sorry, couldn't help it.) Seriously- how do they do this without friction?

Call me a skeptic... (1, Insightful)

Randolpho (628485) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663020)

... but, with the miniscule amount of information provided, it seems to me that the spinning spheres merely demonstrate electromagentic force.

Re:Call me a skeptic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5663085)

I also question equating a University press release as good science. I want to see independent peer review and confirmation through experiment replication. Until then, this experiment is just as credible as the perpetual motion machine in my basement.

Exactly (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5663086)

The article even says:

"It is very satisfying to learn that electrostatic rotation can be predicted by the simple laws of voltage and force that date back at least 200 years," Wistrom said.

So there's no discovery here. No new physics. The article goes as long way to imply there's some kind of mysterious new physics involved.

How many other scientists get to show their balls online?

i dont get it (2, Insightful)

nilsjuergens (69927) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663023)

Is is just me, or does the article not really explain what it is they are talking about.

Also, a drawing of the setup would have been nice.

Third, how do they get from spinning metal thingies to quantum spin? Sounds strange...

Could it be.. kinetic energy here? (1)

E1v!$ (267945) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663025)

So you have DC voltage, aka, electrons going in ONE direction. If they're going into the ball they have to stop at some point, or continue moving through the ball, in either case there is a 'force' being applied to the ball.

What system? (1)

sixdotoh (584811) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663028)

I'm just curious, what system is our good poster's faith renewed in?
scientific research in general?

again, i'm just curious . . . .

April F00ls (0, Troll)

damas (469487) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663036)

it spins in april like a spiffy mp3 that damages your hearing and sends your head spinning after a wma.

what, am I trolling AGAIN?

Yeah, it's nifty. . . (1)

xaaronx (660963) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663049)

While this sounds cool, I'm not sure whether it's as significant as the article makes it out to be. I'd like it explained why this might be so important in more detail than the article went into. But maybe my 102 degree temperature is just clouding my thinking. Someone knowledgeable please reply.

Most importantly, (1)

0x00000dcc (614432) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663054)

Will this help me out with my spinning workout at the gym?

Friday /. Poetry (-1, Offtopic)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663062)



Spinning without friction,
the happy geeks are all smiles.
quantum theory moves forward,
goatse.cx guy [goatse.cx] reviles.

Re:Friday /. Poetry (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5663219)

you are one sick fuck

Nothing new (0, Flamebait)

jvollmer (456588) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663071)

Those of us who have lived through other wars realize that "spin" is very strong in times like these.

Mod me up. Make my day!

Long known fact (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5663077)

I own a Van de Graaf and this fact is very easily noticeable. If you have one of those whose upper sphere is not fixed, but rather 'dropped' unto the Van de Graaf machine, you will clearly notice that during the use of the machine that sphere will spin (not fast, but still).

Marton

Okay, then please explain. (2, Insightful)

MickLinux (579158) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663224)

You take a 2-colored, metal-coated ping-pong ball [it can be done], and suspend it in air on a cushion of air jets. [Also can be done.]

Now stabilize it rotationally. Now stick two or three metal brushes lightly against it, and hit it with some charge. Will it spin? Will it spin continuously faster?

If so, how?

Or alternatively, we can have 3 metalized ping pong balls on three jets of air [that is, infinitely thing strings, you might say] and each brushing against three metalic brushes. Will these spin and accelerate continuously faster?

Suppose, instead of balancing them on air jets, we used strong magnetism and magneticized balls. Will it work then?

Why, or why not?

Answers: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5663298)

No, N/A, N/A.

No.

Yes.

Budget cuts.

I hope this isn't just due to the earth rotating. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5663084)

Could the rotation be induced by the earth's rotation? Or the earth's slightly oscillating magnetic field? or a near by microwave tower? ;)

/. cares more for warez than sicence? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5663090)

Y is it that teh duke3d store has over 147 comments; but a science thread only has 44?!?!?
People! Get some priorities!!!!

Spinning (1)

E1v!$ (267945) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663093)

I'm a bit skeptical about the implied relationship between physical "spin" (as in rotation) and quantum "spin"



Humans seem to have this uncanny ability to pic words and terms that closely match actual circumstances. My thought is that Quantum Spin is exactly that, spin. The spin may be at a right angle to our dimensions, but it's still spin.

Re: quantum vs classical spin (2, Informative)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663255)

There's a good reason why the quantum spin was named spin in the first place: A charged particle with spin exhibits a magnetic moment, and so does a rotating charged sphere. However, electron spin is quantized differently from rotation, so we know it's not really rotation.

Silly Scientists (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5663107)

So let me get this straight.

They applied an electrical charge to a object, while inside the Earth's magnetic field, and they were surprised that the object experienced a rotational force?

They didn't consider the magnetic field. They didn't consider that the magnetic field is constantly changing, due to the spin of the Earth and Solar wind. They didn't consider that having three charged spheres near to each other would cause the charge of those spheres to develop a pole.

No. They jumped right to the conclusion that they had discovered something new about the spin of atomic particles.

Spare me.

perfect for the ISS? (1)

jayrtfm (148260) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663161)

seems like this is an ideal thing to replicate in microgravity and a vacuum on the space station. at least this may be one experiment that justifies having a 40 billion dollar(?) science lab.

I can explain this... (3, Funny)

alchemist68 (550641) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663165)

It's Magic!

Oh wait, no, it's due to the Earth's rotation!

Um, no, wait, it's due to a combination of the Earth's rotation and its orbit around the Sun.

Yeah! That's it!, Yeah, I got it! Woohoo!

Actually, Stephen Hawking is expected to say "it's the spooky force at close proximity."

Honestly, between you and me, I think this will turn out to be as real as cold fusion.

Faith (1, Insightful)

arvindn (542080) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663167)

Still, this is the sort of scientific advance that renews my faith in the system.

Faith is belief in something which you know to be false -- Arthur Clarke.

Re:Faith (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5663240)

Didn't Mark Twain say "Faith is believing what you know ain't true"?

Re:Faith (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5663250)

Unfortunately, that definition is wrong. Faith is belief in something which you do not know to be fact.

the real article (5, Informative)

awaspaas (663879) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663171)

Here's the journal article [mac.com] from Applied Physics Letters

new type of motor (2, Interesting)

ElectricRook (264648) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663178)

I think they've discovered a new way to make electric motors.

1. they apply a current through a metal ball. Which induces a magnetic field.

2. They place a second metal ball near the first ball. The proximity to the first magnetic field in the second ball induces a electric potential in the second ball.

3. The third ball may be electrically connected to the suspension wires of either or both balls 1 and 2. Hence, it induces a magnetic field of it's own. The relationship between the magnetic fields in the balls, is the cause of the rotation.

Of course Murphy and I could be wrong. I've been wrong before, but Murphy never has.

Strangely enough (4, Funny)

CommieLib (468883) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663182)

A newly discovered substance dubbed Oreillium seems to nullify this effect, creating what scientists called a "No Spin Zone".

Nothing new (3, Funny)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663189)

... the Founding Fathers are already spinning frictionlessly at high rpms.

SB

Spin (4, Funny)

arvindn (542080) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663191)

I'm a bit skeptical about the implied relationship between physical "spin" (as in rotation) and quantum "spin", however.

I understand. The article's spin on the news has resulted in your confusion.

*ducks*

Anybody cross-check this? (2, Insightful)

mysticgoat (582871) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663202)

I've RTFA (or press release, in this case). Interesting stuff.

I do have one initial concern, and that's the temporal juxtaposition of this announcement with April 1. Is three days of separation sufficient to assure that we're not seeing some kind of delayed effect here?

Re:Anybody cross-check this? (2, Informative)

robi2106 (464558) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663243)

If you notice the date of publication of the linked article, it is April 2nd. This is possibly by design of the authors to avoid publishing such and article on 4/1.

robi

You spin right around (-1, Troll)

Mr.Dippy (613292) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663210)

Yeah but can you masturbate to it?

I read the article! I think I understand! (0, Offtopic)

lgordon (103004) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663213)

So, are they going to patent electrostatically rotating Ben-Wa balls?

Or is it one of those clickity clackity thingies for your desk?

Perpetual Motion? (0)

Yoquimbo (630375) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663218)

Hm, "The Absence of Friction". Isn't this basically what perpetual motion machine "makers" need? Could you use this tech to make like, The Eternally Spinning Cheese Wheel From Hell(tm)?
Pehaps it could be used to make one of those spin-around-sucking-everything-in-sight-up thingies like in The Arrival. Killer housecleaner! Seriously! Killer! And a housecleaner! Like Ted Bundy in a French Maid's outfit...!

Does not violate first law of thermodynamics (3, Informative)

LightStruk (228264) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663249)

The researchers never claimed to get the energy from the ether. From the link -
When a DC voltage was applied to the spheres, the spheres began to rotate until the stiffness of the suspending wires prevented further rotation.

The researchers provided the energy. What's interesting about this is that just by charging the spheres with the same charge polarity, they began to rotate.

There is one mistake in the article... (2, Insightful)

nniillss (577580) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663277)

which is the date: should read April 1.

More seriously though: both the articles in Applied Physics Letters and in Europhysics letters are followed by errata (see publication list [ucr.edu] . So they were at least partially wrong which is not a good start for dethroning a century-old theory.

Rotation of the earth? (2, Interesting)

Marx_Mrvelous (532372) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663282)

So, they created an iron sphere with a magnetic field, and it started to spin, ever so slightly. Don't you think that this field could just have been moving through some other magnetic field, and this caused the spin?

Simpsons did it! Simpsons did! [south park ref] (0)

nxs212 (303580) | more than 11 years ago | (#5663312)

It's just bad physics, like that Simpsons episode where Lisa tells Bart that water in toilets spins the other way in the southern hemisphere due to the coriolis effect. Even though the coriolis effect is a verified fact it doesn't really work for something small, like a pipe or toilet. Geometry of the installation and original water flow has more to do with it than anything else. They are comparing apples to oranges. Here a decent book on THEORETICAL physics.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0 385477058/ qid=1049485191/sr=2-1/ref=sr_2_1/002-7986922-74744 27
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