iStig

Dividing By Zero: It’s Possible, Right?

In Science on November 10, 2007 at 11:40:37 pm
Dividing By Zero

Apparently, some British scientist has figured out a way to get up to double the energy out of a device compared to the energy put into it. Here’s a cross-section diagram of the device:

cutaway

Basically, you put electricity and cold water into the bottom end, and then it goes through a bunch of filters and heaters and stuff, and you get hot water out of the end that has “up to twice the amount of energy” as the input.

Call me crazy, but this has to be bullshit.

Any first year Physics student will tell you that you can’t get more energy out of anything than the energy you put into it. The water and electricity both have potential energy. There’s a super secret catalyst in the device, as well, which probably has some quantity of energy. As this isn’t documented at all (because it’s secret), nobody really knows how much energy it contains.

Kai, I’m assuming you’ll read this. You can post a comment if you want, with your take on it.

Read more:
Part 1
Part 2

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  1. Ya, you’re right, I will post.
    Dividing by zero is a perfectly legitimate operation in all of mathematics, it just rarely produces the answer that you are looking for, as any arbitrary constant k Є R, i when divided by zero is not technically defined, but the limit of that number is zero.
    For instance, imagine what happens when you have just the value “k.” “k” is equivalent to k/1. now what happens when you make the number on the bottom closer to infinity? Well the value of k becomes smaller and smaller (k/2=small, k/5=smaller, k/9999999=really small). Likewise, when the value of the denominator decreases, then the value of the function increases, until the value of the denominator is zero, at which point it is technivally undefined, but really the value is infinity. That is unless the value of our arbitrary constant k is also zero in which case it is undefined (what is nothing multiplied by everything?). For example k/1 < k/0.9 < k/0.5 << k/0.0000000000001. Again, while it is possible to divide by zero, the number is technically undefined (what exactly is the value of infinity, more specifically than sideways 8). I’ll give them credit, though, it is a cool pic.
    As per the heater that could be a world beater………….well, if you graduate from high school then you should know that the amount of energy going into something must be more than the amount of useful energy comeing out of the system. If you took, what is it, grade 7 math, then you should know that a=/=a+b unless b is zero. ALL ENERGY THAT GOES INTO SOMETHING MUST COME OUT, AND IF MORE ENERGY IS COMING OUT THAN IS PUT IN THEN YOU FORGOT TO COUNT SOMETHING.
    Duh.
    Secret catalyst. lol. So whoever was trying to scam people obviously did not believe in chemical potential energy. you do not get double the energy coming out. You might get double the amount of electrical energy that was put in coming out, but there must still be energy coming from somewhere.
    It must be assumed, then, that this person does not consider chemical potential energy to be important. If that is true, then our cars use up no energy whatsoever and gasoline was a brilliant scheme thought up by greedy capitalist pigs to rob us of our oft meagre funds. Oh and while we’re at it, we need to get rid of all of our batteries.
    Oh and plants don’t run off of anything. Nor do we ever need to eat. And continuing on that same thread, most of the world’s electricity is produced by burning something like coal or a similar fuel. I suppose that this energy just appears out of nowhere because there couldn’t be any energy in the coal because chemical potential energy is not important. But then assuming that chemical potential energy is not important, then also the energy required to produce electricity is also negligible and therefore there is no need for this invention. Either way his heater is useless.
    I hate stupid people.
    God, I hate them.
    I don’t even care if people think that you can’t divide by zero, that is told to you all through highschool unless you take calculus, but seriously.
    I wrote too much. And I’m sure it’s fraught with typos and grammatical errors. That’s too bad, because whoever designed this heater doesn’t deserve correct spelling and composition.
    /Phail
    It’s always sad when my comment is longer than the initial entry.

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