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The mechanical career of Councillor Orffyreus, confidence man
In the early 18th century, J. E. E. Bessler, known as Orffyreus, constructed several wheels that he claimed could keep turning forever, powered only by gravity. He never revealed the details of his invention, but he ...
A thermodynamic cycle for the solar cell
A solar cell is a heat engine, but textbook treatments are not wholly satisfactory from a thermodynamic standpoint, since they present solar cells as directly converting the energy of light into electricity, and the current ...
Irreversibility in an ideal fluid
When a real fluid is expelled quickly from a tube, it forms a jet separated from the surrounding fluid by a thin, turbulent layer. On the other hand, when the same fluid is sucked into the tube, it comes in from all ...
Interaction of a quantum field with a rotating heat bath
The linear coupling of a rotating heat bath to a quantum field is studied in the framework of the Markovian master equation for the field's non-unitary time evolution. The bath's rotation induces population inversion for ...