Graphene: Limitless Free Energy from Brownian Motion? Or a Flawed Experiment?

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

A meme has started circulating on the internet about graphene batteries providing unlimited free energy, harvested from the random Brownian Motion of the graphene. But there is another possible explanation, which the researchers may have overlooked.

From 2020;

Physicists Just Showed That Graphene Circuits Can Produce Clean, Limitless Power 

6 OCTOBER 2020 

Scientists have been able to draw power from the thermal motion of graphene at room temperature, potentially giving us a clean future source of limitless energy for small devices.

The approach cleverly harnesses both the nanometre-sized rippling and the Brownian motion – random movement of particles – found in graphene, producing an electric current that could be put to a variety of uses.

“An energy-harvesting circuit based on graphene could be incorporated into a chip to provide clean, limitless, low-voltage power for small devices or sensors,” says physicist Paul Thibado, from the University of Arkansas.

The research draws on previous work from the same lab, in which freestanding graphene was shown to ripple and buckle in a way that could be harvested for energy. 

The origin of these nanometre-sized ripples is still an open question,” the team writes in their study, noting that the graphene ripple seems to stem from subatomic particle interactions in the material.

A crucial part of the development of their system was using two diodes in the circuit to convert the original alternating current (AC) into direct current (DC). This allowed the current to flow both ways through the circuit, along separate paths.

Read more:

The abstract of the paper;

Fluctuation-induced current from freestanding graphene

P. M. Thibado, P. Kumar, Surendra Singh, M. Ruiz-Garcia, A. Lasanta, and L. L. Bonilla

Phys. Rev. E 102, 042101 – Published 2 October 2020

At room temperature, micron-sized sheets of freestanding graphene are in constant motion, even in the presence of an applied bias voltage. We quantify the out-of-plane movement by collecting the displacement current using a nearby small-area metal electrode and present an Ito-Langevin model for the motion coupled to a circuit containing diodes. Numerical simulations show that the system reaches thermal equilibrium and the average rates of heat and work provided by stochastic thermodynamics tend quickly to zero. However, there is power dissipated by the load resistor, and its time average is exactly equal to the power supplied by the thermal bath. The exact power formula is similar to Nyquist’s noise power formula, except that the rate of change of diode resistance significantly boosts the output power, and the movement of the graphene shifts the power spectrum to lower frequencies. We have calculated the equilibrium average of the power by asymptotic and numerical methods. Excellent agreement is found between experiment and theory.

Read more (paywalled):

The researchers provided the following video simulation of their device;

Unfortunately nobody put a big sheet of graphene in my Santa sock, so I cannot test one of these free energy batteries for myself, and I don’t have access to the full paper.

But as an amateur electronics enthusiast, something immediately jumped out at me. The description of the physical structure of their graphene “battery” looks a lot like a resonant circuit.

If you touch one terminal of an oscilloscope, or a very sensitive volt meter, the device consistently registers a small AC voltage in your body. This electric field in your body is induced by fields created by the electric wires in the walls, the devices in the room, and the power lines in the street.

Other sources also contribute in a small way. The sun emits a lot of radio waves, as does commercial radio, TV, satellites, mobile phones, computers – there is a long list of potential sources.

This stray voltage is harmless to people, undetectable except with sensitive electronic equipment. But in larger structures the induced electric field can be significant. It can even cause severe damage to metal framed buildings, by triggering electrolytic corrosion.

Sensitive resonant circuits can amplify these tiny electric fields, allowing the oscillating electric field to build until the voltage is sufficient to overcome the voltage drop of the rectifier diode, and deposit a packet of charge into their capacitor (see the simulation above). This is the principle of operation of a crystal radio.

Crystal radios are primitive radio receivers which draw the electricity required to operate them from the received radio signal.

If you look at the circuit diagram of a crystal radio (below), it looks remarkably similar to the circuit of the brownian motion battery described in the video (above).

crystal radio
Crystal Radio Circuit. By Chetvorno – Own work, Public Domain, link

It is not clear from the abstract whether the scientists attempted to shield their graphene batteries from these ubiquitous stray external electric fields, and I do not have access to the full paper. But even if they made an attempt to shield their battery, I’m more inclined to believe that what the researchers accidentally built was very sensitive stray radio voltage detector, rather than a miraculous violation of the second law of thermodynamics.

How could scientists test whether their “battery” is really just a sensitive receiver of ambient radio signals? Very simple. Try attaching an antenna and ground, like the crystal radio circuit above, and see if their free energy device picks up a stronger signal.

Update (EW): Peta of Newark suggests an even simpler explanation, acoustic vibrations – they built an electret microphone.

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John Tillman
February 27, 2021 6:13 pm


Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  John Tillman
February 27, 2021 6:58 pm

“No”, then “Yes”

Reply to  John Tillman
February 28, 2021 9:52 am

Hows about those graphene batteries? One of these days….graphene for everybody…it’s a miracle….you’ll see… of these days.

John Tillman
Reply to  Anti_griff
February 28, 2021 1:36 pm

Just one word: graphene! ‘Nuff said.

First capacitors, then batteries. After that, the world!

Last edited 1 year ago by John Tillman
LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
Reply to  Anti_griff
February 28, 2021 8:09 pm

Actually, graphene batteries would be a good idea. Lots of spaces to hold electrons. A better idea would be a combination graphene battery / graphene capacitor bank… you can have a smaller battery, and the cap bank handles the surge currents, lengthening battery service life.

Another idea I saw was cigarette butts as a dielectric matrix in supercapacitors. They peel the cigarette butts apart, kind of ‘weave’ them into a mat, put them in an autoclave, pull a hard vacuum on it, then heat it up until the cigarette butt material carbonizes. That leaves a lot of little nooks and crannies to hold electrons, while providing the electrical resistance necessary to prevent plate-to-plate arc-over. Apparently one guy’s got his supercaps up to 5 time higher energy density than those which are currently commercially available, and at much higher voltage. And it’s dead cheap.

For cars, imagine a high energy density supercap bank with a top-up generator (car roof solar, quantum generator) to keep the supercap bank topped up over time. No heavy batteries, huge surge currents to the motors (so those Teslas would be even quicker than they are now, and quicker still because the cap bank would be lighter than a battery bank), and less range anxiety. You’d still have to charge the supercap bank, but it’d be much quicker than charging a battery, and the natural tendency of supercaps (and regular batteries) to slowly discharge over time would be negated by the top-up generator.

Dennis G Sandberg
February 27, 2021 6:23 pm

blah, blah, I thought cold fusion was bad. Coming to a wristwatch near you, maybe.

Tom Halla
Reply to  Dennis G Sandberg
February 27, 2021 6:49 pm

Cold fusion was what I thought of, too.

Reply to  Tom Halla
February 27, 2021 7:30 pm

Me too. link

The title on the linked story: “It’s Not Cold Fusion… But It’s Something”
So, another experiment that gave results but was a disappointment in the end.

If there were such a thing as free energy, Mother Nature would already have discovered it.

Tom Halla
Reply to  commieBob
February 27, 2021 7:53 pm

For getting woo-woo, picking up stray EM energy would make this like Nicola Tesla’s power transmission experiments.

Reply to  Tom Halla
February 27, 2021 8:09 pm

People get a small result and think they can improve on it and get a big result. It reminds me of:

I’m working on mind control to add energy to water. I can already melt ice by concentrating on it. I will soon be able to use the power of my mind to boil water.

Or something like that. (I can’t remember who I stole it from.)

Reply to  Tom Halla
February 28, 2021 11:04 am

What I thought of was how long can they continue to get grants for this work? They could learn a lot from those who are milking the system to build better climate models.

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  Dennis G Sandberg
February 28, 2021 7:56 am

This is more like an electrical analog of Maxwell’s Demon – and is equally impossible for all of the same reasons.

H. D. Hoese
February 27, 2021 6:26 pm

We were once working with a salt water fish capable of a small shock, when we felt one on the table. When you work around salt water, electricity dissipates. Recall getting a meter out and finding it was AC, not the fish. Also went to a physics seminar about cold fusion, speaker was smarter than the claimants. That animation looks too good to be true, but keep trying.

Reply to  H. D. Hoese
February 27, 2021 7:52 pm

My favorite was a grad student who was finding a signal that shouldn’t have been on the printed circuit board on which he was working. The signal existed on another board that wasn’t even connected to the board he was probing. The lesson he learned was how to avoid using your oscilloscope probe and its ground wire as an antenna. 🙂

February 27, 2021 6:35 pm

Yes Eric strange things happen with batteries and associated conductive materials.

I’ve had 3 watches over the last 20 years now that lose time only when I wear them.
(All top brands, paid top dollars. Last one $2k)
Have sent them off to manufacturers’ service centers for testing, came back with clean bills of health. Changed batteries numerous times, no difference. Still hours being lost.

Have tried other people wearing my watches – no problems keeping accurate time.

Guess it must be my magnetic personality?
(Or the vagaries of electrons behaviors in various materials?)

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Mr.
February 27, 2021 8:27 pm

My mother was bi-polar (they called it manic/depressive back then). When she was in one of her manic phases her watch would speed up measurably. It was just a common Citizen watch.

Reply to  Rory Forbes
February 27, 2021 9:13 pm

One of my watches is a Citizen. A favorite.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Mr.
February 27, 2021 10:08 pm

I like my own Citizen, too. It has never failed me.

Gregg Eshelman
Reply to  Mr.
February 28, 2021 10:26 am

I wonder if anyone has named their Citizen watch, Kane?

Reply to  Gregg Eshelman
February 28, 2021 3:13 pm

Citizen should come out with a watch and call it Kane

Reply to  Rory Forbes
February 27, 2021 9:58 pm


Rory Forbes
Reply to  noaaprogrammer
February 27, 2021 10:15 pm

Yes. She was among the 1st to receive the treatment, in the early ’70s, I believe. Why do you ask?

Bryan A
Reply to  Rory Forbes
February 28, 2021 8:14 am

Lithium Ions?
Inferring she became a sort of Battery?

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Bryan A
February 28, 2021 9:23 am

Makes sense.

alastair gray
Reply to  Rory Forbes
February 28, 2021 5:11 am

I am interested in this My sister is also Bipolar, and in her high periods I could imagine all sorts of electrical brain activity. However if this electrical activity occurs it must be medically and evidencially attested rather than anecdotal. Also was this effect one of subjective perception by your mother or had it hard factual backup

Rory Forbes
Reply to  alastair gray
February 28, 2021 9:27 am

Sorry, I can’t help you with any of that, beyond the anecdotal. I just remember the watch problem. It was 50 years ago, LOL.

Paul Jenkinson
Reply to  Rory Forbes
March 2, 2021 4:31 am

Didn’t know there was a comedy spot available on WUWT but I like it.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
February 27, 2021 9:14 pm

Ta Eric. Will do.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Mr.
February 27, 2021 11:36 pm

Time moves slower for objects in motion.

Bryan A
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 28, 2021 8:16 am

Also the closer you get to a Gravity Well

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Mr.
February 27, 2021 11:37 pm

My calendar pages flip faster the older I get.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 28, 2021 6:05 am

Life is just like a roll of toilet paper: The closer you get to the end, the faster the paper runs off.

Reply to  Mr.
February 28, 2021 4:07 am

Had a similar issue over 40 years ago when digital l.e.d. watches were all the rage, everytime I wore one the display went haywire, didn’t happen if anyone else wore it.

Reply to  Mr.
February 28, 2021 6:04 am

With regards to battery powered time pieces. I have a position on a wall in my home that screws up battery powered clocks. I tossed out a couple that I thought were defective only to later discover that any placed there would not be reliable. Just swap them out with a different one from another place and same issue. I have wondered if the external ground wiring, one from the rooftop antenna and the other from an isolated steel vent pipe had anything to do with it. Location is exterior wall (brick and block) in basement and peak/height at rooftop ends are about 35′ above ground level. It happens but I don’t know why!

Reply to  eyesonu
February 28, 2021 6:09 am

By the way the pipe is wrapped with barbed wire at the roof protrusion ant the antenna mast has a cluster of pointed wire protruding at the top. Am I inducing a flow of energy/electricity being bled from ground to the ‘sky’?

LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
Reply to  eyesonu
February 28, 2021 8:28 pm

Might be that you have inadequate ground… my dad was an electronic tech for Collins Radio Company and Rockwell International. He repairs amateur radio equipment and radio / TV equipment from his own shop. He dug a huge hole 15 feet deep in the back yard, dropped in a thick steel plate with two 0 gauge ground wires coming off of it, then around that steel sheet he drove well pipe down into the soil to the water table and electrically connected them to the steel sheet.

He ran the ground wires into his repair bench (commercial radio cabinets welded together to form a test station / repair bench) and grounded the whole thing.

He had a mile-long long-wire antenna run out to the end of our pasture on 25 foot poles which would pick up quite a bit of static electricity whenever it snowed or the wind blew… I’ve seen it throw continuous 6 inch sparks. We could light fluorescent lights with it in a mild breeze or a light snow. Whenever he wasn’t using it, he kept it grounded.

The lightning rods on the roof and 75 foot TV antenna tower ran into well pipe similarly driven into the ground to the water table. Our cedar-shingle roof took quite a few direct lightning strikes to the lightning rods without any problem over the years.

Yeah, proper grounding is important.

Chuck no longer in Houston
Reply to  LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
March 2, 2021 11:46 am

With years of keeping motorcycles running, I came to understand that grounding was the first thing to be checked when troubleshooting. And usually the easiest fix.

Reply to  eyesonu
February 28, 2021 11:29 am

If the pipe is being used as a ground for the house, and the grounding isn’t done right, you can easily get very high emf off of such pipes. Most battery powered clocks use a pendulum and have a small solenoid that gives the pendulum a small kick on each cycle, to keep it going. If the clock uses a magnetic field to determine when to fire the solenoid, it’s possible that high emf could mess with this timing.
If you know someone with an emf meter you might want to have it checked out. High emf can have negative impacts one your families health.

Last edited 1 year ago by MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
February 28, 2021 4:20 pm

Thanks for the reply,

The pipe is the original steel vent riser and became isolated when I replaced the exposed piping in the basement with PVC. The grounding that I did was to eliminate/reduce chance that the vertical pipe would become a path for lightening directly onto the basement which is finished. The barbed wire at the roof is to hopefully bleed off any potential charge before a strike.

Reply to  eyesonu
February 28, 2021 5:46 pm

My grounding rods are 2(ea) 8′ rods set about 6′ apart per zoning reg for electric panel grounding. But if atmospheric voltage potential is 200v/meter (vertical) and I’m topped out at 35-40 feet (10+ meters) above ground level, have I induced a current at 2000v? If so and I would assume it to be DC, would this affect the clock? I’m going to keep an eye as to whether the failure occurs more often in the summer months. Possible surges during storms????

Inquiring minds need to know.

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  Mr.
February 28, 2021 7:54 am

My father almost immediately stopped every mechanical wristwatch he ever put on – and he had a full drawer of them. I would put one of them on, and it would work just fine. The watch repairman he used was very familiar with the phenomenon, though not with the cause. He, too, said that my father had a “magnetic personality.”

It wasn’t until the advent of electrically-driven watches that Dad could wear one without stopping it. He started with the Bulova Accutron (the first model used a tiny tuning fork as its resonant time regulator), and over the years replaced it with all electronic watches. Never had a problem again.

Gregg Eshelman
Reply to  Mr.
February 28, 2021 10:24 am

My mother can’t wear a watch. They just quit after a time for some reason. Brand new or used. Electronic or mechanical.
She also has problems with her smartphone and laptop that nobody else does when using them. I assume the phone survives because it’s not in constant contact like a watch.

Last edited 1 year ago by Gregg Eshelman
Reply to  Mr.
February 28, 2021 11:21 am

Back when I was in college, I had a digital watch that one day decided that there were 100 minutes in an hour.
As someone who’s designed clock circuits, I knew exactly which part had failed. There was still nothing I could do about it.

Reply to  Mr.
March 3, 2021 9:53 am

I don’t ever wear a watch and neither does my mother, because we routintely destroy them. First they start missing time, then just stop. My grandfather, as he was of a very strong opinion, that men wear watches, once took me to a store and purchased a very expensive one for me, that had no parts made of magnetic components and no battery. Turned out the mechanism itself was fine, but the tiny parts indicating hours were not that impervious to my magnetic personality and they kept comming off and getting stuck between the hands, which ultimately damaged the mechanism. And so even my grandfather gave up. So yes, that’s a thing.

February 27, 2021 6:35 pm
Reply to  Eric Worrall
February 27, 2021 6:51 pm

They didn’t, and I have to wonder about the TEM electron beam.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Scissor
February 27, 2021 7:16 pm

Thanks, not sure why anyone was considering this to be a perpetual motion machine.

have not previously been studied using stochastic thermodynamics. The latter is necessary to consider the dynamics of fluctuations and to show that all energy dissipated at diodes and resistors is fully provided by the thermal bath, thus satisfying the second law of thermodynamics.

Stochastics solves another one.

Reply to  Robert W Turner
February 28, 2021 12:22 am

Big, big error. The first law of thermodynamics is conservation of energy, and there is no violation here. However, the second law (global increase of entropy with time) is certainly violated. An analogy for what these people are proposing would like observing heat flowing from a cold body to a hot body.

John Tillman
Reply to  Graemethecat
February 28, 2021 8:22 am

Reversing the direction of heat flow using quantum correlations

Reply to  Graemethecat
February 28, 2021 8:56 am

Exactly. To extract heat energy there must be a hot body and a cold body. Look up “Carnot Efficiency”. This purported source of heat energy (Brownian motion comes from heat) from Graphene is pure bunkum, proof positive that peer review in publishing is often a sham.

Reply to  Graemethecat
March 1, 2021 5:50 am

As the warmists keep claiming.

Reply to  Robert W Turner
February 28, 2021 1:39 am

As I get older, I’m turning into a machine that produces perpetual brownian motions .

Last edited 1 year ago by 1saveenergy
Bryan A
Reply to  saveenergy
February 28, 2021 8:25 am

You want a Brownian Movement at least once a day
or so my Grandfather was often heard to say
As my Grandmother would attest
Fleets or Ex-lax worked the best
Grandpa lived life the Regular way

Reply to  Bryan A
February 28, 2021 11:12 am

Has anyone tried to extract useful energy from that type of Brownian motion? With over 7 billion people in the world, that could add up to a lot of wasted energy that could be captured.

Loren C. Wilson
Reply to  Ken
February 28, 2021 12:20 pm

The reason most researchers are not interesting in this is that it is not theoretically possible. Has anyone produced a perpetual motion machine? After careful examination, either the machine actual runs down or has a secret power input.

Reply to  Ken
February 28, 2021 5:18 pm

“Has anyone tried to extract useful energy from that type of Brownian motion?”

Many people in third work countries use bovine brownian motions as a source of energy.

Reply to  saveenergy
February 28, 2021 9:38 am

The number 2 law.

February 27, 2021 6:39 pm

I can feel the rotation of the Earth slowing already! /s

Reply to  Rob_Dawg
February 28, 2021 12:27 pm

The Moon’s gravity exerts a proportional gravitational force that mechanically effects matter.
Think tides. So all we have to do is stretch graphene across the ocean to get essentially limitless and free power.

Peter W
Reply to  Rob_Dawg
February 28, 2021 4:53 pm

It’s the friction from the solar wind.

February 27, 2021 6:51 pm

There’s no free lunch. If this energy is really being harvested from the brownian motion, it should also be reducing the temperature (i.e. average kinetic energy of the particles) of the graphene.

Reply to  Tom
February 27, 2021 7:24 pm

And wouldn’t random motion average out to zero?

Reply to  Paul
February 27, 2021 7:58 pm

Around “zero” but the three laws apply and eventually -> 3°K.

LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
Reply to  Paul
February 27, 2021 11:05 pm

It would average out to zero in all three coordinate directions, but remember that the graphene can only stretch in one dimension.

Reply to  Paul
February 28, 2021 1:37 am

That’s what the diodes do.

they flip the negative flows to positive,

so NO, they do not average out,

Reply to  Tom
February 27, 2021 8:27 pm

True, but the flow of heat from the environment would mean that the graphene would only be slightly cooler than ambient (I would think).

Reply to  Tom
February 27, 2021 10:54 pm

Entropy sucks.

Bob boder
Reply to  Tom
February 28, 2021 4:54 am

But if it is harvesting energy from the environment around it then it’s just a better photocell. Still useful.

alastair gray
Reply to  Tom
February 28, 2021 5:29 am

Do I detect Maxwells demon at work? Take 2 chambers both filled with air at room temperature and with a small door between the two. A little demon sits at the door and can shut or open it. It worked on a spring so energy in opening and shutting the door is conserved. When Boris (that is the name of the demon) sees a fast air molecule he opens the door but he shuts it when a cold particle approaches After a few minutes we have a cold half of the room and a hot half. We can therefore run a heat engine so Maxwell and Boris the demon have created a perpetual motion machine and a violation of the second Law of thermodynamics. Where is the snag?
The snag is that the demon must expend energy in the velocity detection process measuring the speed of the approaching particle however he does it. He must generate photons, bounce them off the incoming particle and then measure the Doppler shift.
Heisenberg used essentially the same thought experiment in developing the Uncertainty Principle of particle momentum and position. so full marks to Clerk Maxwell for being ahead of the quantum revolution. As for the current guys . If it looks like a turkey, walks like a turkey and gobbles like a turkey It probably is a Turkey. So talking of turkeys hang on to the wind turbines a bit longer Boris

February 27, 2021 6:51 pm

Kinda looks like the circuit diagram I use to teach my 6 year old grandson about building circuits/electricity. He seems to get it.

Reply to  rocdoctom
February 27, 2021 8:28 pm

What’s the purpose of C2?

Reply to  mcswell
February 27, 2021 9:05 pm

It filters out the radio frequency energy.

Reply to  rocdoctom
March 1, 2021 1:39 pm

Looks like a crystal radio but with a graphene resonator
comment image

Last edited 1 year ago by Neo
Gordon A. Dressler
February 27, 2021 6:54 pm

Rrrrright . . . as if politicians shouting “Free money for everybody!” wasn’t enough, we now have some “scientists” claiming “Free energy for everybody!”

The most immediate indication that something might be amiss: the abstract’s mention of using “numerical simulations” in the research . . . now what could possible go wrong with that???

In addition to stray voltage fields from nearby electrical wiring and radio-television-cell phone EM fields interacting with the graphene sheet, one might also focus in on the interaction with the electric potential gradient of the atmosphere, typically about 100 V/m near Earth’s surface (see This potential can vary in short time periods from many different causes, including charged clouds passing overhead and the presence of nearby vertical conductors.

I’m wondering—as does Mr. Worrall in his comments in the above article—if the “scientists” reporting on this ever thought to conduct their experiments inside a good Faraday cage?

Last edited 1 year ago by Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
February 27, 2021 11:04 pm

“we now have some “scientists” claiming “Free energy for everybody!”

I’ve heard that since childhood. “Unlimited” is a hoot!
According to the local solar cell salesman, to get free energy, all I have to do is say ‘yes”.

Reply to  Glenn
March 1, 2021 1:40 pm

They said that back in the late 50’s about fusion energy.

Peta of Newark
February 27, 2021 7:04 pm

Its a condenser microphone

Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 27, 2021 9:59 pm

there are many motions of air

Sound compression waves are just one of them

But yes, it sounds exactly like a condenser microphone..

…. but maybe is picking up other “stuff” as well.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 27, 2021 11:05 pm

In similar vein it could be an electrostatic voltmeter. These operate by physically vibrating a conducting plate near a charged surface in order to measure the voltage on the surface without drawing any current. The “limitless energy” comes from the power source driving the plate. If you were to take the crystal radio circuit and tap the plate of the variable condenser you’d get a signal in the headphones. Nearly everything in a typical building has small vibrations at mains frequency and from people and cars moving, which is which is why nanotechnology laboratories go to great lengths to minimize vibration.

Robert of Texas
February 27, 2021 7:04 pm

And yet another perpetual motion machine is discovered.

I kept finding weird stray “voltages” in my old stereo too, until I realized they were A) very small, and B) coming off the speaker wires. The stupid speaker wires were acting as as an antennae. There are radio waves all over the place and very easy to see using a modern oscilloscope.

Reply to  Robert of Texas
February 27, 2021 9:17 pm

Did you try checking the volume control knob?
I bet it’s turned up to 11.

Reply to  Robert of Texas
February 27, 2021 10:01 pm

“The stupid speaker wires were acting as as an antennae.”


And that is why microphones and other audio connections use what are called “balanced” leads.

Bob boder
Reply to  Robert of Texas
February 28, 2021 5:04 am

Funny story, when I was young I worked for a guy who was a classical music nut. He was very wealthy and built a room to listen to his music, the room was sound proof and directed the sound in such a way that would make it sound “ideal”. A few years later he started complaining about a very small hum in the system. I spent days experimenting and trying different solutions, but none of my brilliant solutions had any affect. I spent the next week study on the subject and then it finally hit me, I went back to his house and made my adjustment to the system. I asked him if he still heard the hum. He said yes, I said, I know the problem. I had turned all power off, the hum was in his ears.
He had the room turned into a video room.

February 27, 2021 7:05 pm

Thanks, Eric. I saw that, and it didn’t pass the smell test. Something for nothing? Seems doubtful. Maxwell’s Demon says nope, but hey, anything’s possible.

Just not all that probable …


David Blenkinsop
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 27, 2021 7:41 pm

To think, for millions of years, plants, like trees and phytoplankton, stored up solar energy that decayed into so called fossil fuels.

All those little ‘demons’ storing up all that work, but today’s ingrates think it’s bad news to make use of it! Burn the coal, *that”ll* make those molecules vibrate, ya dang dookiloos..

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 27, 2021 7:45 pm

Heat pumps/ air conditioners give you ‘free energy’ by exchanging heat with ambient air. I have some small aircons at home that will give you 2000watts heating for an input of 700 watts of electricity. It’s not exactly free energy. Although it is for me because it is far better than having a radiant heater that consumes 2000 watts.
If they can produce usable electricity by ‘harvesting ‘ radio waves or whatever, I don’t care. It just needs to be inexpensive enough to use in a practical sense.

Bryan A
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
February 28, 2021 11:59 am

so utilize window a/c units facing inward during summer to cool the room and facing outward during winter to heat the room

Reply to  Bryan A
February 28, 2021 4:29 pm


Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Bryan A
March 1, 2021 2:54 pm

They have a switch for that. Aircons heat or cool.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 27, 2021 11:05 pm

“Something for nothing?”.


Well, not really.

Something must be causing the foil to move.

Energy cannot come from “nowhere”…….. except in “renewables” la-la-land.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 28, 2021 12:19 am

Reference to Maxwell’s Demon reminded me of a video by one of my favorite you tubers…This Old Tony.
It was about this crazy thing called a vortex tube, which I had forgotten all about.
TOT is a hobby machinist, and he made one and it works.
An amazing thing.
You blow compressed air into it, at room temp, and our of one end you get hot air, as hot as 200°C IIRC, and out of the other end you get cold air, as low as -50°C, again IIRC.
No moving parts. Just a metal tube with a swirl chamber.
They make them for use as a source of refrigeration on a small scale where there is compressed air handy.

“The vortex tube was invented in 1931 by French physicist Georges J. Ranque. It was rediscovered by Paul Dirac in 1934 while he was searching for a device to perform isotope separation, see Helikon vortex separation process. German physicist Rudolf Hilsch improved the design and published a widely read paper in 1947 on the device, which he called a Wirbelrohr.”

“The vortex tube, also known as the Ranque-Hilsch vortex tube, is a mechanical device that separates a compressed gas into hot and cold streams.”

Tony is one of the best video channels I have found, useful and interesting and you can save a ton of money from what you learn.
He is neck and neck with The Farm Project, and the Steve’s Small Engine Saloon.
If you never seen any of these guys, I highly recommend all three.
You will be able to make your own tools, fix all problems with any small engine, cheap, and you can find out the best equipment and supplies with zero doubt…all while being highly entertained.

BTW…the demon is real, and so is spooky witchcraft.
Watch the video iffen you doubt it.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 28, 2021 12:29 am

Oh, the This Old Tony video:

And here are those other two:

Last edited 1 year ago by Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 28, 2021 5:30 am


Thanks for the info source with regards to Steve. I’ll begin by checking out his “Steve’s Small Engine Saloon”. I fool with them quite often. If it will run, I WILL make it run!

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  eyesonu
February 28, 2021 9:33 pm

He is great.
This guy in this next video saves me tons of money and has caused me to switch brands of a lot of things I use and equipment I buy.
He is better than Consumer Reports.
And he is very scientific:

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 28, 2021 9:16 am

How neat! I had never heard of a vortex tube, perhaps because I never needed one.

A lot more interesting than that graphene device animation….

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Ric Werme
February 28, 2021 9:26 pm

It is amazing isn’t it?
I got to wondering if it only works at a certain scale.
IOW…could you make a big one that works by catching strong wind in a funnel or something?
How about using them for heat in really windy places, like Antarctica or Mt Washington?
Is 90 psi a sweet spot where temp separation is maximized?
Probably would not work with water, what with water being incompressible.
I think almost no one knows about these.
Seems like a ripe area for research.

How about making one that works by pressing a plunger or something?
Like these fire syringe dealios:

Push a plunger and heat air to 400° instantly with a press of a hand.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nicholas McGinley
LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 28, 2021 8:48 pm

I recommended using vortex tubes on our chillers (the largest chillers west of the Mississippi) at work, to improve efficiency. They never got around to implementing it before the chillers died, so they replaced three of them, and put in a plate-and-tube heat exchanger in place of the 4th chiller, for the really cold days when our evaporative towers can remove the heat without requiring a chiller.

February 27, 2021 7:21 pm

My guess is that the phrase “limitless free green energy” short circuited the peer review process (which appears to be the main circuit these days) and the paper went straight to publication.

And why not? Considering all the other boondoggles which get funded that promise to support our collective eco-dystopian future.

The real tragedy here is that Pons & Fleischmann published 20 years too early, as had they had the benefit of today’s scientific community (i,e. crony cabal) they would now be the heads of a “too big to fail“, multi-billion dollar renewable energy research laboratory.

In my opinion, being a scientist had more gravitas and was a bit more exhilarating in those days, because if you submitted a paper to Nature that had to be retracted (or even edited), to borrow the words of Top Gun: “you would be flying a cargo plane full of rubber dogshit out of Hong Kong”. (It would be career ending.) Such was the prestige of that journal the scientific profession at one time. (sigh)

Last edited 1 year ago by Anon
Jean Parisot
Reply to  Anon
February 27, 2021 7:43 pm

The real tragedy here is that Pons & Fleischmann published 20 years too early

Imagine the carbon savings …

Reply to  Anon
February 28, 2021 12:30 pm

Room temp fusion is neither free not limitless. It was a tiny source of energy if these men were right. Fusion should be treated as a fun experiment not a viable source of energy.

Brian Jackson
February 27, 2021 7:32 pm

Worrall embarrasses himself, and this site.

David Guy-Johnson
Reply to  Brian Jackson
February 27, 2021 7:49 pm

No, it’s you that does that.

Last edited 1 year ago by Mr David Guy-Johnson
Reply to  David Guy-Johnson
February 27, 2021 9:25 pm

Brian reminds me of one of those slinky little lurkers all dressed in black hoodies and masks at those antifa / BLM / Extinction Rebellion protests who run out of the crowd and belt a copper from behind, and then scurry back to the protection of the crowd.

All substance hey?

Bob boder
Reply to  David Guy-Johnson
February 28, 2021 8:15 am

For someone who constantly embarrasses themself you would think you would be an expert on the subject by now. Some bricks are denser then others I guess.

Bryan A
Reply to  Bob boder
February 28, 2021 12:27 pm

A little publicised fact is that Bricks stuffed full of Greentard Factoids are some of the densest object known to science, falling somewhere a Neutron Star Core and a Quantum Singularity

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Brian Jackson
February 27, 2021 7:50 pm

It’s a common occurrence.

LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
Reply to  Brian Jackson
February 28, 2021 9:28 pm

First a little background:
The sinusoidal ‘waves’ of photons are not actually waves… they’re spirals.comment image
comment image
comment image

The first image above shows the real (cosine… labeled ‘Re’ in the image) and imaginary (sine… labeled ‘Im’ in the image) components of an electromagnetic ‘wave’. When viewed in line with its direction of travel, it will appear to be a circle, and when viewed orthogonal to its direction of travel, it will appear to be a sinusoid, when in reality it’s a spiral.

This is because a sinusoid is a circular function.comment image

You’ll note the peak amplitude of the sinusoid is analogous to the radius of the circle, the peak-to-peak amplitude is analogous to the diameter of the circle, and the frequency of the sinusoid is analogous to the rotational rate of the circle. You’ll further note the circumference of the circle is equal to 2 pi radians, and the wavelength of a sinusoid is equal to 2 pi radians, so the wavelength of the sinusoid is analogous to the circumference of the circle.

Thus the magnetic field and electric field (oscillating in quadrature) of a photon is a circle geometrically transformed into a spiral by the photon’s movement through space-time. This is why all singular photons are circularly polarized either parallel or antiparallel to their direction of motion. This is a feature of their being massless and hence having no rest frame, which precludes their exhibiting the third state expected of a spin-1 particle (for a spin-1 particle at rest, it has three spin eigenstates: +1, -1, 0, along the z axis… no rest frame means no 0-spin eigenstate). A macroscopic electromagnetic wave is the tensor product of many singular photons, and thus may be linearly or elliptically polarized if all singular photons comprising the macroscopic electromagnetic wave are not circularly polarized in the same direction.

For a practical lab experiment, go outside on a sunny day and stretch out a Slinky so its shadow falls upon a surface perpendicular to the incoming sunlight… you’ll see the shadow of the spiral of the Slinky appears as a sinusoid. Now turn the Slinky so its axis is aligned parallel to the incoming light such that the light is falling through the center of it, you’ll see the shadow of the spiral of the Slinky appears as a circle. Our oscilloscopes show us a shadow of reality because they can only account for the electric field and not the magnetic field of electromagnetic radiation.

The above ties into vacuum polarization (due to the high charge density in the vicinity of the nucleus of an atom) creating a geometrical transform of resonant scalar quantum vacuum wave modes to a circular (spherical, given the DOF) orbital path of an atom’s bound electron(s) (ie: the bound electron ‘spirals’ around the nucleus, (acted upon by the Lorentz force of the EM interaction between bound electron and nucleal proton and sustained by energy from the quantum vacuum), which is why a bound electron must have an integer number of de Broglie waves in its orbit (the underlying reason for quantization of energy and hence the basis of Quantum Mechanics) or it sets up a destructive-interference orbit which lowers electron orbital radius, which is how and why electron orbital radius falls to ground state from a higher excited state when the excitation energy sustaining it in that higher orbital is removed). This is what feeds energy to a bound electron to prevent it ‘spiraling in’ to the oppositely-charged proton(s) in the nucleus. At its ground state, the energy obtained from the quantum vacuum exactly equals the energy emitted via virtual photons (magnetism… which all invariant-mass matter exhibits (usually diamagnetism, although certain electron valence configurations allow ferromagnetism to override the underlying diamagnetism)), as Boyer[1], Haisch and Ibison[2], Puthoff[3] and NASA[4] showed.

“We show here that, within the stochastic electrodynamic formulation and at the level of Bohr theory, the ground state of the hydrogen atom can be precisely defined as resulting from a dynamic equilibrium between radiation emitted due to acceleration of the electron in its ground-state orbit and radiation absorbed from zero-point fluctuations of the background vacuum electromagnetic field, thereby resolving the issue of radiative collapse of the Bohr atom.”

“The energy level of the electron is a function of its potential energy and kinetic energy. Does this mean that the energy of the quantum vacuum integral needs to be added to the treatment of the captured electron as another potential function, or <b>is the energy of the quantum vacuum somehow responsible for establishing the energy level of the ‘orbiting’ electron? The only view to take that adheres to the observations would be the latter perspective</b>, as the former perspective would make predictions that do not agree with observation.”

This ties into the Backgrounder statement (not included here) about the 2nd Law Of Thermodynamics (2LoT)… a bound electron is always trying to emit a photon to return to a lower energy state, but the energy sustaining the bound electron in that state prevents the photon being emitted because energy can only flow from a higher to a lower energy density region. When that excitation energy is removed, a photon can be emitted, electron orbit no longer has an integer number of de Broglie waves, a destructive-interference orbit is thus set up, and the electron falls to a lower state in which there are an integer number of de Broglie waves in the orbit. At ground state, energy flows from the quantum vacuum to sustain the electron in its ground state orbital as it emits Larmor radiation in the form of virtual photons (a point charge undergoing acceleration (in this case angular acceleration) will emit Larmor radiation), which it does because the quantum vacuum is anisotropic (it fluctuates) under vacuum polarization in the high charge density in the vicinity of the nucleus of an atom. Thus 2LoT holds even in the quantum realm.

This ties into the very underpinnings of the meta-stability of invariant-mass matter (and hence the continued existence of the universe as we know it) and provides insight into the connection between classical and quantum theory.

So how do we get the electron to reduce its orbital radius and thus harvest energy from it?

Well, we can send a noble gas through a plethora of Casimir cavities, which would block quantum vacuum wavemodes sustaining the electron at its usual orbital radius. The noble gas’ bound electrons would descend in orbit, giving off photons which can be put to use, then when the noble gas exits the Casimir cavity, the non-zero expectation value of the quantum vacuum would restore bound electron orbital radius, whereupon the noble gas is piped back around to the entrance of the Casimir cavity.

This has been empirically confirmed. The process works just as predicted.

1) Casimir cavities are, by necessity, extremely tiny to block the necessary quantum vacuum wavemodes. Thus a large number of cavities would be needed in order to extract any usable amounts of energy.

Or, we can find some material in which all the bound electrons are orbiting in one of two directions (spin-up | spin-down), and in a cyclical process steal the angular momentum of the bound electrons, causing them to descend in orbital radius, then being restored by the non-zero expectation value of the quantum vacuum after the cycle ends.

And wouldn’t you know it, a permanent magnet is exactly that…. a crystalline structure which locks electron orbit in one of two directions. So we divert magnetic flux from this permanent magnet alternately into one of two magnetic flux paths, and capture the flux in the usual way, with pickup coils.

The trick here is to get the energetic cost of flux-path switching lower than the energy you harvest in the pickup coils of each magnetic flux path. It can be done, but not easily with the usual flux steering coils wound around the outside of the core which forms the magnetic flux paths. One must use spirally-wound coils directly in the magnetic flux paths. The usual flux steering coils wound around the outside of the core ‘squeezes’ the magnetic flux in that path, increasing reluctance and thus forcing the magnetic flux into the other magnetic flux path. This takes quite a bit of power to accomplish, given that magnetic flux naturally concentrates in the center of the magnetic flux path core. Spirally-wound coils also concentrate their magnetic flux in their center, directly blocking the magnetic flux in the flux-path core. One must use wire made of ferromagnetic material with a magnetic coercivity just slightly higher than that of the core. Hit the spirally-wound flux steering coils with a short, sharp current pulse to flip the magnetic domains (to oppose magnetic flux from the permanent magnet in one flux path, and to assist magnetic flux from the permanent magnet in the other flux path), and you’ve got an energy-efficient means of steering magnetic flux.

I use nickel-iron wire which is silver coated for the flux steering coils, and regular copper wire for the pickup coils.

1) The power density is much higher than the Casimir cavity solution above. Some using this setup have gotten more than COP 3 (three times more energy out than in)…. and that’s using the conventional steering coils wound around the outside of the core. I’ve not calculated the COP of my setup (with spirally-wound flux steering coils), since I’m still experimenting and optimizing.

2) You can easily scale it… it’s just a custom transformer.

1) If you attempt to pull out more energy than the quantum vacuum can restore, the permanent magnet domains will unpin and flip, weakening the permanent magnet.

Brian Jackson
Reply to  Eric Worrall
February 28, 2021 5:27 am

The Quantum Law of Thermodynamics . The second law of thermodynamics is NOT a universal law, because it has exceptions. The second law doesn’t apply and doesn’t exist at the quantum level among the quantum fields, the conserved quanta, the tachyons, the quantum waves, the quanta, and the photons.

Reply to  Brian Jackson
February 28, 2021 11:25 am


A cut and paste with ZERO comprehension.

A monkey could do the same.

Reply to  Brian Jackson
February 28, 2021 12:27 pm

Dimbo, this is why we talk about statistical thermodynamics. It is only applicable to large ensembles of particles. Brownian motion is the local, temporary violation of the Second Law.

LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
Reply to  Graemethecat
February 28, 2021 9:51 pm

Not exactly… statistical thermodynamics is an attempt at using classical methods upon a large enough ensemble of quantum interactions such that they exhibit classical behavior. The cutting edge quantum mechanics no longer use statistical thermodynamics, they can use single-measurement methods, then track the evolution of the wavefunction.

Brownian motion isn’t a local, temporary violation of 2LoT… it’s merely a form of constructive and destructive interference.

Consider a 1 kg 2 m/s 2 J kinetic energy ball traveling along the x-axis, and a 1 kg 4 m/s ball 8 J kinetic energy ball traveling along the y-axis. Ball 1 strikes Ball 2 square at its center of mass, imparting 2 J of kinetic energy to Ball 2.

One would think, “Well, that’s a slower ball imparting energy to a faster ball! A 2LoT violation!”… but velocity is a vector quantity. Don’t confuse ‘faster’ (in regards to scalar speed) with ‘faster’ (in regards to vector velocity).

Ball 2 has velocity of 0 m/s in the plane of the direction of travel of Ball 1… a 1 kg 2 m/s 2 J kinetic energy ball can only impart 2 J of kinetic energy to a 1 kg 0 m/s 0 J kinetic energy ball, and that’s exactly what happens in the plane of the direction of motion of Ball 1.

Kinetic energy is generally equipartitioned into all 3 coordinate directions, but that’s not necessarily always so… this is why we have the Bernoulli Equation, dynamic pressure, etc.

LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
Reply to  Brian Jackson
February 28, 2021 8:53 pm

Incorrect. Not only does 2LoT hold at the quantum level, but there are several sub-sets of 2LoT which must be met at the quantum level in order for any transition to take place… that family of 2LoT subsets making up the macroscopic 2LoT.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Brian Jackson
March 2, 2021 9:11 am

The tachyons?
Of course anyone can imagine any behavior one wants for things which are purely imaginary.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Brian Jackson
February 27, 2021 8:33 pm

Oh for gawd’s sake, take a pill or something.

Reply to  Rory Forbes
February 27, 2021 10:04 pm

I suspect that Brianless lives on a steady diet of one sort of pill or another.

Whatever he can get his hands on, will do !!

Rory Forbes
Reply to  fred250
February 27, 2021 10:20 pm

They really do get on my nerves. It’s so easy to find real facts. Why are they so committed to fantasies? It was all so clear when people like Schneider did a 180 degree flip-flop from man made global cooling to AGW, almost over night.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Rory Forbes
February 27, 2021 10:21 pm

Try a redpill.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
February 27, 2021 10:35 pm

I fear he’s already ingested the blue pill … and is looking for seconds.

Reply to  Rory Forbes
February 28, 2021 1:40 am

And the purple pill, and the brown pill..

… but he LUVS the rainbow colored ones. !

Reply to  Brian Jackson
February 27, 2021 9:08 pm

Once again, Brian demonstrates the well known progressive tendency to hate anyone who has been more successful than they have.

Eric found a paper that made no sense to him, and he brought it here so others can comment on it.
What’s embarrassing about that.
Not all of us can be experts on everything as you believe yourself to be.

Reply to  Brian Jackson
February 27, 2021 10:02 pm

Brainless spends his time embarrassing himself

A mockery of any intelligent thought process.

Its his natural state of being

Reply to  Brian Jackson
February 27, 2021 11:08 pm

Troll alert!

Jean Parisot
February 27, 2021 7:39 pm

“Try attaching an antenna and ground, like the crystal radio circuit above, and see if their free energy device picks up a stronger signal.”

Come on, think like a grant writer, it needs to be tested on the dark side of the moon.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Jean Parisot
March 2, 2021 9:17 am

There is no dark side of the moon, really.
Matter of fact, it’s all dark.

David S
February 27, 2021 7:54 pm

Violates either the first or second law of thermodynamics. If you apply for a patent on it the patent office will say send us a working model.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  David S
February 27, 2021 10:16 pm

You should try reading the paper. It explicitly calculates the dissipated energy and shows that it does not violate either the first or second law of thermodynamics. Plus it is an experimental paper so they could easily send the patent office a working model.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
February 27, 2021 11:10 pm

Izzy-dumb-or-what.. !!

They have not discovered anything new.

It has been known for a VERY long time that the movement of thin foils can create an electrical signal.

Its just an energy conversion mechanism..

…. the fact they don’t know where the energy is coming from is the real issue here.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
February 28, 2021 12:28 am

It certainly violates the Second Law, dimbo.

David S
Reply to  Izaak Walton
February 28, 2021 6:58 am

If it really can generate a limitless supply of free energy as the headline states then it’s the biggest discovery in history. It would solve our energy problems forever. They should get it patented. It would make them very rich. But they won’t because it does not work

Bob boder
Reply to  David S
February 28, 2021 8:17 am

So does a photocell

Bryan A
Reply to  Bob boder
February 28, 2021 12:36 pm

Nah, photocells aren’t limitless. Just try and generate power at night or at the South Pole in June…
limited to daylight hours and only from 10:00 – 3:30 local time, less at higher latitudes

Last edited 1 year ago by Bryan A
David S
Reply to  Bob boder
February 28, 2021 1:08 pm

Not so. A photocell converts solar energy to electricity. No violation of any physical laws there. But this device produces energy from what? Apparently nothing. That violates the 1st law of thermodynamics.

Reply to  David S
February 28, 2021 11:43 am

It’s fascinating that two of our more notorious left wing trolls, are upset that people aren’t taking this paper seriously.

Robert W Turner
February 27, 2021 7:58 pm

The difficulty I see in applying this is stability of freestanding graphene. Not sure if freestanding sheets have been found to be stable in the long run yet.

LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
Reply to  Robert W Turner
February 27, 2021 11:21 pm

They’re stable enough… graphene’s pretty tough, pound for pound, and it takes energy to tear it apart, which is why graphene is self-assembling in the presence of carbon atoms (using a small patch of seed graphene to get the process started).

Oddly enough, you can make a self-building sheet of graphene using a laser and a pool of sugar water (C6H12O6)… the laser provides the energy to dissociate the carbon from the sugar molecule, the graphene gloms onto the carbon and auto-magically assimilates it into its matrix. The H12 and O6 go on to convert to water (H2O).

I remember there being some research paper where they were able to detect disparities in the graphene structure using a blue laser… IIRC, the laser light was diffracted differently on a properly-assembled patch of graphene vs. one with holes where carbon atoms should be. That could be used to set up an automatic system that detects a patch of graphene with holes, spritzes that patch with sugar water, hits it with the blue laser to rebuild that section, then re-detects to ensure that the hole is closed. Arbitrarily large sheets of graphene could be built this way.

February 27, 2021 9:54 pm

“The current flowing in the resistor doesn’t heat it up, in other words.”

I was sure, perpetuum mobile patents are not accepted.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Alex
February 27, 2021 10:17 pm

Actually it is exactly the oppossite. The authors show that the power taken from the Brownian motion is exactly equal to the power dissipated in the resistor. So in other words it does heat up and does so in such a manner as to conserve energy.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
February 28, 2021 3:41 am

It contradicts the 2nd law.

February 27, 2021 9:58 pm

A stack of these things could solve Tesla’s battery problems.

M Theory
February 27, 2021 10:21 pm

In the site guidelines, all sorts of nonsense is excluded from being posted — BUT NOT questioning the fundamentals of physics… oh dear.

Reply to  M Theory
February 27, 2021 11:20 pm

This isn’t a liberal Dem site.
Here thou mightest question the fundamentals of physics.

LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
February 27, 2021 10:52 pm

Here’s the full paper:

You’re right, they essentially created a crystal-radio set… nothing to see here.

Stretching graphene induces a magnetic field within the graphene (in fact, this magnetic field can be quite large). Current from the STM tip (and, presumably, stray RF fields) incident upon the graphene combine with thermal fluctuations of the graphene to stretch it in one dimension, setting up a magnetic field which induces a current in the graphene. The diodes rectify this alternating current to DC, whereupon the current is applied to a load.

So yeah, it’s a crystal radio set writ modern.

Reply to  LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
February 27, 2021 11:13 pm

It has been know for ages that movement of conductive foils can create electrical signals.

As you say…

Nothing new to see here.

LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
Reply to  fred250
February 27, 2021 11:48 pm

Me wonders if the patch of graphene could be sized such that it’s resonant with a local AM or FM transmitter to provide power for small devices… that power’s going to waste otherwise anyway.

Or, to be really devious, sized such that it’s resonant with the 60 Hz power grid (although that’d be a pretty large patch of graphene).

February 27, 2021 11:02 pm

As Peta says,

Motion of thin foils has always been known to produce electrical current.

This is nothing new.

Condenser microphones use this principle and have done for many years, either mylar or metal foil types.

Used in reverse in Electrostatic loudspeaker drivers.

anna v
February 27, 2021 11:09 pm

From the abstract you quote, “its time average is exactly equal to the power supplied by the thermal bath” it is obvious there is no energy conservation violation (it would never have gotten published in Phys Rev) .The thermal bath is cooling while the graphene ripples, and energy will have to be replaced to it . This would put a limit to the use as a battery, the rate of heat replacement to the heat bath. in other words “how cold can the thermal bath become to stop getting electricity”

Here is a PRL with similar title, in arxiv. . The thermal bath is missing from the abstract, but exists in the paper.

Nicholas McGinley
February 27, 2021 11:33 pm

I want to try to harvest the electricity that accumulates from walking across a carpet in wool socks!
I know for sure that is real, and I can put it to use instead of wasting it on annoying little shocks when I touch a doorknob.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nicholas McGinley
Nicholas McGinley
February 27, 2021 11:50 pm

This is great. We can use big sheets of it to cool the planet by blocking the Sun, and get unlimited free power at the same time!
We can stretch it out or let it contract to precisely regulate the temperature of every place in Earth.
In lieu of my cash prize, the people at the Nobel Foundation are hereby directed to send the money directly to my fave charity, the Climate Research Authority for Zero-emissions Youth (CRAZY).

February 28, 2021 1:13 am

Surprised that so many people bothered to comment on this nonsense so l thought I’ll join in the crowd.

Reply to  Vuk
February 28, 2021 12:17 pm

First you have to say the magic word. Oh, sorry, I see you did. never mind.

Would someone please change that secret word?

Simon Derricutt
February 28, 2021 3:35 am

Yep, this has a lot of commonality with an electret microphone. If you’ve worked with microphones, you’ll know that the smaller the microphone, the more noise it produces since air is composed of molecules and what we call pressure is the average momentum exchange of the random collisions of molecules with the walls, or in this case the microphone diaphragm. Once you get down to the scale of the mean-free-path (about 70 microns at STP), individual collisions can be resolved with an average frequency of around 7GHz. Put a couple of diodes in the circuit that can handle this frequency and you’ll get power out.

In fact, if you have any wave, and you have the right sort of diode, you can get power from that wave.

Conservation laws are produced (such as 2LoT (2nd Law of Thermodynamics)) when we have symmetries (Noether’s Law), and if you can break that symmetry then that law no longer applies. For over 150 years we’ve known that 2LoT always applies and can’t be violated, but it’s only fairly recently that we’ve been able to manufacture diodes that are sensitive enough and work at a high-enough frequency to actually work at the required frequencies and voltage-offsets. Thus using MIM diodes attached to a nantenna can now receive and rectify IR radiation (and even green light), and even MIT have produced nantenna arrays that work. The reason you’re not seeing these in use is that they are expensive to make, the actual power produced at room temperature is pretty small, and also that they wear out pretty quickly (around 3 months or so before the 2nm of NiO in the tunnelling gap in the MIM diode fails through too-high a current density shifting the atoms around). Though they do actually work, the power produced simply costs too much relative to almost any other method (and of course making it uses more energy than you’d get from it in its lifetime).

Kinetic energy is defined as a scalar. However, it cannot exist on its own, and is always carried by a particle (here I’m treating a photon as a particle). Thus that particle has momentum, and that momentum defines in what direction the kinetic energy acts. If you only consider the kinetic energy itself, and don’t consider the direction it acts, you’re missing something important. Work is also considered as a scalar (same dimensions as energy), yet it is defined as force times distance, and that distance must have a direction included, so in fact work is a vector. Heat is kinetic energy carried by particles with an average momentum of zero, but where each particle has a definite direction. If you could change some or all of the directions of those particles to be in the same direction, the total momentum would be in one direction, and instead of heat you have a wind. We know how to get energy out of a wind.

In order to change the direction of a particle, without changing the total energy it contains, we simply need a field. This is after all how we recognise that a (conservative) field exists – it changes the direction of a particle without changing its total energy (KE+PE). Thus one way of getting energy directly from heat (without needing both a hotter and cooler heat-sink) is to use the photoelectric effect to produce an electron and hole in the depletion zone of a PN junction of a semiconductor that has a low-enough bandgap. The photoelectron and the hole are accelerated in opposite directions by the electric field, and the junction produces power. Basically, a solar panel with a low-enough bandgap to convert long-wave IR. These also exist, using a Mercury-Cadmium alloy, Tellurium-doped, with a bandgap of around 100meV (MerCaT sensors). Since this is tricky to make, with the consistency of a banana, they cost a lot (around $1500 for a chip of around 0.5mm²), and are normally used at LN2 temperatures to avoid them generating too much power from their own internal heat and not being sensitive enough to incoming IR. Very expensive if you want to power something from them, and of course the power per m² is very small too, but it does show that 2LoT can be violated.

There are a few other methods of violating 2LoT around. The common factor with all of them so far is that they cost a lot and produce a very small amount of power.

This “electret microphone” idea thus works because the scale has been reduced to comparable to the mean-free-path of the air molecules, and because at that scale you can resolve the individual collisions of molecules, and because you have diodes in the system that break the symmetry. The difficulty of making it, and possibly breakdown of the diodes after a fairly short life, probably means that you won’t see a commercial product based on this though. It may however lead to a few people reconsidering 2LoT, and to realise that if you get the scales right and deal with the particles that carry the kinetic energy rather than regarding heat as a pure scalar quantity, then 2LoT can be violated.

February 28, 2021 4:01 am

Why not use a Sterling Motor to move a generator ? 😀

Places with temperatur differences will be to find 😀 In case of doubts, ask a “climate scientist” 😀

February 28, 2021 4:09 am

If this is real why are they not doing it instead of talking about it? Just start producing all this free energy and sell it? Oh, yeah, not real.

Tired Old Nurse
February 28, 2021 5:49 am

Assuming that the energy is just being picked up from the environment (obviously most likely) couldn’t the tech still be of some use? Getting a little current from from otherwise lost electromagnetic energy is still current.

February 28, 2021 7:19 am

Peta of Newark suggests an even simpler explanation, acoustic vibrations – they built an electret microphone.”

Won’t do very well then when we go back to the dark Ages-
Coronavirus lockdown reduces UK ground motions – BBC News

February 28, 2021 7:22 am

Regardless of the source of the lattice vibrations creating the current – thermal, electromagnetic or acoustic – there is no violation of the Second Law. Energy flows from high levels to lower, with some lost doing work along the way. Full stop.

The real trick with this kind of thing is packaging enough surface area to do anything meaningful and then maintaining an energy gradient large enough to make it work efficiently.

They could have resolved the electromagnetic or acoustic source by simply attaching the device to a spectrum analyzer rather than a capacitor. I’m surprised the peer reviewers didn’t pick up this obvious flaw. But then the authors would not have achieved fake news stardom and more grants to come, would they.

IMHO, the old adage “don’t feed the trolls” should be observed by scientists as “don’t feed the clickbait prostitutes.”

February 28, 2021 8:22 am

About that animation….

While positive and negative “charges” are useful in semiconductor theory (as electrons and holes), wires generally just use free electrons.

The animation shows positive charges moving through the wires. That is so painful to watch that I strongly recommend any EEs not watch the animation and just move on.

That alone would have dissuaded me from writing a post about this phenomenon.

BTW, this year is the 50th anniversary of debunking polywater.

Reply to  Ric Werme
February 28, 2021 8:37 am

Oh yeah, this isn’t much better:

A crucial part of the development of their system was using two diodes in the circuit to convert the original alternating current (AC) into direct current (DC). This allowed the current to flow both ways through the circuit, along separate paths.

It wouldn’t be so bad, but the first network news story about “high” temperature superconductors claimed something like “The scientists were successful because they used liquid nitrogen instead of the colder liquid helium.”

Ya know, if they just kept the AC they could have run it through a transformer and gotten 120 volts. If they talked loud enough.

February 28, 2021 8:34 am

hmmm….energy from Brownian motion…..sounds like it might work about as good as those Crookes radiometers with their black-one-side-white-the-other paddles. Which actually work, just not economically…..

February 28, 2021 8:42 am

Here is my question, please tell me what is flowing? Positive charges? Positive charges imply protons. Unless they are into conventional flow showing positive charges despite the fact that is is the electrons (negative) flowing, I question their explanation.

It appears that they are attempting to harvest the changing electrical field occurring from the separation of the plates of a capacitor. The net effect is to increase the E field strength when the plates are close and then harvest that EMF created flow into a charge pumped capacitor. While entirely plausible in theory, that same EMF created by the small movement of the graphene also creates a back EMF restricting the movement of the sheet. While the Brownian motion is real, I am not convinced that at normal temps it is sufficient to generate a significant amount of energy. The energy harvested in their system would probably be temp dependent and much like a thermocouple able to provide a useable current at some temp. However, given the small motion seen at low temps this would probably very small in magnitude and difficult to detect.

Another issue is dielectric characteristics. At very small distances between the plates, even small microvolt charges could breakdown causing an internal short across the plates. They do not mention plate spacing or the amount, movement between the plates, or dielectric properties but I doubt that the voltage potential across the flexible dielectric can withstand a significant amount of potential. Many unanswered questions.

Flight Level
February 28, 2021 9:29 am

Where I was at school, Brownian movement was associated with absolute temperature and used in several exercises related to gas pressure.

We learned that, at constant temperature, mass and volume, there’s no energy that can be extracted out of such a system. Resulting in a brilliant demonstration on how cold and hot fronts can wreck havoc and dismantle wings when quicker warmer molecules encounter colder slower ones.

This entire graphene postulate is at best a flawed explanation of a thermal machine, the one that cools down when an electron is forced to flow in the circuit and needs to warm before another cycle.

Something Pelletier elements achieve with a much simpler setup.

Schrodinger's Cat
Reply to  Flight Level
February 28, 2021 9:59 am

Colloidal dispersions and emulsions show brownian motion. Just look at the fat particles in milk under the microscope. I doubt if graphine brings any magic to the party. Tiny particles, like molecules have thermal energy because their environment is warmer than absolute zero and therefore they vibrate.

I’m just off to charge up my car with this bottle of milk.

Kevin kilty
February 28, 2021 10:56 am

This has been an interesting diversion this morning. From the paper itself a couple of observations might be pertinent.

 Our model provides a rigorous demonstration that continuous thermal power can be supplied by a Brownian particle at a single temperature while in thermodynamic equilibrium, provided the same amount of power is continuously dissipated in a resistor. Here coupling to the circuit allows electrical work to be carried out on the load resistor without violating the second law of thermodynamics

What, might one ask, is the temperature of a Brownian particle? Our notion of temperature depends on having a distribution, as temperature is simply a parameter in such. I think in this case they have applied something like measurements over a very long term measurement and numerical integration to take the place of the instantaneous ensemble. But this brings up the next point…

We have checked that long time averages of dissipated power at one diode are exactly the same as long time averages of power supplied by the thermal bath

This involved numerical simulation of a very stiff set of equations which required pre-softening in order to integrate successfully.

Finally one might note two other things. First if the thermal bath is the source of supplied power, it must become colder as the circuitry runs, the cooler bath will draw heat flow from the surroundings. It’s a second-law machine! Heat energy flows around a circuit provided by energy drawn from a cold reservoir. It is a zeroth-law machine! Second, the extremely small power generated is of the order of picowatts. It will take tens of milliwatts before it can even act to trickle charge a cell-phone. Very small effects in the presense of a battery supplying potentially much larger power — a situation like Pons-Fleischman cold fusion where we are interpreting measurements at the limit of detection.

Last edited 1 year ago by Kevin Kilty
Reply to  Kevin kilty
March 2, 2021 9:57 am

This has been an interesting diversion this morning.”

As often happens on WUWT the diversions are most interesting!

Loren C. Wilson
February 28, 2021 12:15 pm

There is not free lunch, and no perpetual motion machines. Like cold fusion, this will be shown to be an artifact of the experiment and not a real phenomenon.

February 28, 2021 12:28 pm

Share value of graphene companies jumped last week here in UK , probably on the back of that , luckily I was too sensible

February 28, 2021 7:42 pm

So build a pilot plant and show it works……..

March 1, 2021 12:02 am

Cold Fusion part X

Steve Z
March 1, 2021 9:16 am

“Numerical simulations show that the system reaches thermal equilibrium and the average rates of heat and work provided by stochastic thermodynamics tend quickly to zero. However, there is power dissipated by the load resistor, and its time average is exactly equal to the power supplied by the thermal bath.”

If the work rate (power) tends quickly to zero, this is not a “perpetual motion machine”, but merely the conversion of the heat energy of the thermal bath to electrical energy dissipated in the “load resistor”, which could be a short-life light bulb. If some external power source can keep the “thermal bath” warm, it could keep the light bulb on indefinitely, but in any case this is only Direct Current (not the Alternating Current used in electric motors). It would not be possible to run any rotating equipment or electric motors using this procedure.

Mike Lyons
March 1, 2021 12:01 pm

Instead of hooking it up to a ground and an antenna, just do the experiment inside of a Faraday cage.

March 1, 2021 4:30 pm

Maybe they discovered an infinite probability drive?

The principle of generating small amounts of finite improbability by simply hooking the logic circuits of a Bambleweeny 57 Sub-Meson Brain to an atomic vector plotter suspended in a strong Brownian Motion producer (say a nice hot cup of tea) were well understood. It is said, by the Guide, that such generators were often used to break the ice at parties by making all the molecules in the hostess’s undergarments leap simultaneously one foot to the left, in accordance with the theory of indeterminacy.

Replace hot cup of tea with graphene

Reply to  WXcycles
March 2, 2021 9:52 am


Does that work on similar principles as Turboencabulator?

March 1, 2021 5:34 pm

My wife’s hairdresser’s hair crackles & sizzles when immersed in water. She was shocked badly once and said it began then. Didn’t believe her, tbh, but then she proved it in front of us. So bizarre!

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  anthropic
March 2, 2021 9:25 am

Probably has some Pop Rocks hidden in there.

Jim Gorman
March 2, 2021 10:51 am

“except that the rate of change of diode resistance significantly boosts the output power, ”

Since when can a passive component whose resistance changes “boost” the output power?

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