…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 .