Tag Archives: beads

Hurrah for Duct Tape!

…Richard Feynman argued that, in reality, the bouncing beads would not be capable of doing meaningful work. Feynman showed that, since the entire system operates at the same temperature, a pawl would occasionally slip off the wheel. As a result, the system would generate zero net movement.

Now, physicist Devaraj van der Meer from the University of Twente and his colleagues have demonstrated that such a machine can in fact spin the paddles forward only, generating a positive net movement … The key challenge was getting the vanes to move in the forward direction only, which the scientists achieved with – somewhat surprisingly – duct tape….

Is there anything duct tape can’t do? Besides break the second law of thermodynamics, I mean.

Newly created machine on Vimeo. Write-up at PhysOrg.com: Experiment finally proves 100-year-old thought experiment is possible .