[extropy-chat] Casimir Torque Project

Hal Finney hal at finney.org
Fri May 6 17:39:01 UTC 2005

Adrian Tymes writes:
> Only if there are no discontinuities in the system, and discontinuities
> are impossible in most systems.  But they seem to exist here, and
> that's the point of the system.

There are no discontinuities in nature. All of your materials are made
of atoms which have a finite size. There are no infinitely sharp points
where force drops instantaneously from 1 to 0.  (Note that I disagree
that your design would produce any rotary force at all, but I am trying
to point out some flaws in your own model.)

> It might be useful to think of this experiment as verifying whether the
> Casimir effect is indeed a conservative force, like gravity, or is a
> source of energy that needs certain mechanisms to tap, like radiation
> from the Sun.  (Chlorophyll and solar cells are not the simplest of
> systems, and a bug that skitters towards the brightest light source but
> can not fly would be stuck motionless on perfectly level ground at noon
> since all reachable points nearby would be equally bright.)  Previous
> efforts to tap it have indicated the former, but our current
> understanding of its nature indicates the latter.

I don't understand where you get the claim that Casimir is a non-
conservative force.  My understanding is exactly the opposite.  Can you
provide a reference, or a derivation, which argues that Casimir force
is non-conservative?


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