An Investigation of Modern Physics by Brian Williams
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  • Entropy – Not for the Squeamish.

    Posted on June 22nd, 2014 Brian No comments

    I have decided to approach this subject in the form of a story.


    Meeting of the International Science Safety Sub-Committee 2. August 12th 2556

    Professor Jason King, Chairman

    Ladies & gentleman, may I bring this meeting to order.

    It is exactly 3 years since our last meeting, but I feel that during the next few months our meetings will become more frequent. I assume that you have all consented to help by turning up for this meeting. I have set aside 1 week to allow for preliminary work on your summaries. This is little enough time for what may be the most important meeting ever held by mankind.

    I will spend the next few minutes with a summary of our overall aims.

    In the last 70 years of the 20th century much thought was given to the problem of entropy, the heat death of the universe. 99% of the Earth’s population are unaware of the problem, even in the year 2556, after 700 years since the of the realisation of the problem. Most of the world’s intellectuals of whatever general or specialist persuasions are in a state of depression.

    We therefore have what may be called a problem. Admittedly, a problem that makes other problems look microscopically small. We do have the capability of erasing the knowledge of the problem from mankind; this would only take a few hundred years. However, knowledge of the problem would continue to surface at intervals. We could ‘invent’ a plausible solution to the problem, which would satisfy all but a small number of people. We could even produce ‘cast iron evidence’ to prove that there never was a problem.

    However, the problem will still remain.

    I have always been convinced that the problem is capable of a solution. You people were chosen because I feel that you had the necessary persistence, bloody mindedness, call it what you will, to at least arrive at a feasible programme that will enable us to finally produce a solution. You are all, individually, capable of doing this. None of us will see the final solution, even though our life expectancy is now approximately 125 years. The value of the work that you do may not be known in your lifetime. However, we must find a solution or all humanity’s evolution will be a complete waste of effort & time. The dinosaurs etc. were wiped out after an evolutionary period far greater than that of humanity, and we do not want the same thing to happen to us.

    I call on Dr. William Hartson to give us a summary of his group’s findings. As you know this relates to human psychology.

    Dr. Hartson.

    Thank you Professor King. Ladies & gentlemen, our summary is shorter than we expected it to be in the early days. Our initial thoughts were that we would have to work on a need to know basis as regards the general public, in affect, hiding the problem from the public. However, our researches indicate that the opposite is true. In fact we find that unless the public is aware of the problem we will be unable to proceed with our intentions.

    My team have interviewed over 15,000 members of the public in virtually every country in the world, and we find that 98% of them could understand the problem and, if possible, would like to be involved in some way to help. Obviously they all can’t be directly involved, but even 1% would be an enormous pool of intellectual & physical potential. When considered along with the backing of an informed population, we feel that we could have over 10,000,000 man-years/annum of manpower available to any programme that is finally decided on. Although I said that all the people could not be directly involved, there is no reason that all the people cannot be indirectly involved, or intermittently involved. This would generate a greater feeling of universal goodwill than excluding the bulk of humanity from the project.

    We consider that it would be possible to use all the people some of the time, by using them for a short period, say 12 months, working on the many probable projects. Obviously many skills & capabilities are going to be required, and everyone has something, which they can bring to a project, even if it’s only supplying beverages or running errands.

    As the average lifespan is now just over 100 years, the donation of 12 months work is 1% of a person’s life, not a particularly onerous burden on the individual, and one that most people will give quite happily, and gain much satisfaction from.

    Obviously we do not know what projects will be required, but we feel that we can arrange a satisfactory system whatever is decided. A complete copy of our report will be given to each member at the end of the meeting. Thank you.

    I now call on Dr. Isaac Singh, whose group has been looking into possible investigation paths, and to investigate any possible solutions that appear viable at the present day.

    Dr. Singh.

    Thank you. Ladies & Gentlemen, I have some good news & some bad. The bad news is that our summary is considerably longer than Dr. Hartson’s group. The rest of our summary contains a mixture of good & bad. We have split our summary into what we consider to be the most significant categories. Our 1st category is:-

    Time Scale.

    This has been rather a difficult subject, with much of the available documentation being based on the work of 20th century physicists. Very little work has been carried out in the last 500 years mainly due to the depressing nature of the subject. However we have unearthed some research by an amateur physicist, Williams, which gives us some hope that our time may be extended by 25% or more. This obviously does not get rid of the problem, but allows us more time to find a solution. Unfortunately, we do not know what our baseline is. We therefore can say that we have   x + 0.25x  years to find a solution, (x being whatever existing estimates you like to use.). At this stage it can be considered as good news. From the notes unearthed various experiments become obvious targets for research, from which we should be able to come to a reasonable estimate of the timescale. At present we do not know if we have 10 thousand years or 10 billion. It should be noted that the final time scale consists of 2 important sections,

    1. Time to find a solution.

    2. Time to carry out the solution.

    For obvious reasons item 1 is unknowable. When a time scale is worked out, any solutions found can only be considered as solutions if there is time to carry them out.

    However, the first solution found must be considered feasible if it only exceeds the estimated timescale by 25% or less, in the hope that our estimates are wrong in the right way.

    Preliminary Work.

    We consider that there is much auxiliary work that can be carried out prior to finding a solution.

    This is itemised below.

    A.        Survival systems.

    These include planetary survival systems and off-planet survival systems. In essence, we  should ensure that all humanities eggs are not in one basket. Some preliminary planetary systems are already in place such as the Meteorite Detect & Destroy Group on the moon. A large amount of research & development work must be carried out on small self-sustaining ecosystems, hydroponics etc..

    The most important survival system is to get out to other planets & moons to ensure that disaster does not strike humanity in the form of disease. It is also important that our interstellar space travel capabilities are rapidly enhanced, as the solution may rest on this.

    B.        Knowledge.

    Knowledge is an essential ingredient in any survival system.

    It is crucial that we set up a system of information gathering that is all embracing but giving us rapid access. Although we have fast access data systems at present, we estimate that our information systems will need to increase by a factor of ten in the next 15 years, just allowing for increases in technical information.

    This apparently large increase is not to allow for newly developed knowledge, but to bring in information that is not considered as ‘acceptable’ by present or past establishments, i.e. goes against current theories. When one considers the delays in accepting the facts actually proven in the late 1900s that we could get considerably more than 100% ‘efficiency’ from equipment, even though it was later shown that the physicists hypotheses on atomic structure were at fault, and the claimed possible 100% in relation to many items of equipment, may in fact be less than 1% of the actual possible. Some of you may be aware that we have some equipment operating at 250% efficient relative to the 1900s hypotheses. We will come back to this later in our report.

    We suggest setting up multiple groups of people to sift through all available literature, however obscure, to extract ideas which may help us in our ultimate goal.

    We propose that these people should generally be non-technical to prevent subconscious or deliberate suppression of ideas. Particular attention will be paid to ‘science fiction’ publications, as many of the major scientific breakthroughs in the last 600 years have been initially introduced as sci-fi stories, many dated in the 1900s and early 2000s.

    Existing Possibilities.

    A. Accelerated evolution to allow humanity to function in harsher conditions. The weakness of this idea is that it only delays the final disaster. However it has the advantage that it does give us more time to find a solution.

    B. Reducing the rate of conversion to total entropy. Again, the same advantages and disadvantages as the above. This would require shutting down unnecessary suns, as there is little else that would have any significant effect. We have various ideas how this could be done, but we do not have the capability at present.

    C. To continue Willams’ work on Matter/Mass/Energy transfer. The initial work indicated that both energy and mass are increasing.

    Although this goes against current thinking, which is based on Einstein’s hypotheses, there is sufficient evidence available to indicate that Williams was right. The dissipation of energy from the sun does not appear to have reduced the rate of its increase in mass. The outer planets certainly appear to be increasing in mass, with a corresponding increase in energy radiation. The arguments put forward for the hypothesis that the Earth may have increased its diameter by approximately 25% in the last 50,000,000 years has been around for well over 500 years If this turns out to be correct then it would explain many of the structural anomalies in the dinosaurs, which appeared to be far too heavy to operate efficiently at our present gravity. See Dinosaurs and the Expanding Earth – The Earth Mechanics.

    D. To assess the basics of the problem.

    Logically there is a problem. Have we defined the problem correctly? Is the problem universal, or just within our own small part of the universe? Is the problem self-correcting? Are others within the universe already working on the problem? Has a solution already been found? If the universe is infinite and only our part of the universe has the problem, will heat dissipation to the rest of the universe solve our problem? Our known universe may be only a bright spark in the darkness of infinity, (See Out from Earth.). If the problem is truly universal are we receiving more than our ‘fair’ share?

    In general we feel that it is necessary to proceed on all of the above, but with priorities on earth based safety, and the rapid development of interstellar travel. Again, work by Williams indicates that the only restriction on speed of travel will be related to the detection & destruction/avoidance of space debris. We feel that we can create a faster than light spacecraft within 35 years.  We suggest initially sending a dummy craft containing full life support systems, communications, and full monitoring of all systems.

    The biggest problems will be detection of space debris, and communications. Speed of communications over long distances using existing technology is still limited to approx. 450,000km/sec., [Only outside the influence of stars] but work on modulated magnetic waves have indicated that almost instantaneous communications are possible over short distances. If we can find or construct a magnetic field that will operate at the vast distances required, then communications will be less of a problem. Unfortunately this is a big if. However, if it is possible, then the space debris detection problem will also be solved.

    That concludes our summaries, thank you ladies & gentlemen.


    Out from Earth.

    October 3012

    350 years had passed since they had set out from Earth.

    The captain was carrying out his official weekly check on the bridge. He had carried out this check for the last 15 years, since he had been elected Captain. He normally spent only the regulation 1 hour on the bridge, has had the captains before him for the last 150 years.

    He was the great,  great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great,  great grandson of a drive technician of the original crew, and was the third member of his family to hold the position of captain.

    In fact the position of Captain was almost a honorary one, he had had no official duties to carry out other than the weekly check. The only requirement of a captain was that he knew the full history of the flight, and have a good working knowledge of the operation of the ship. Most of this knowledge he had gained in his childhood, from friends, relatives, operators and engineers who had been generally happy to assuage his curiosity.

    The bridge was normally manned at all times by two observers, who only spent 3 hours on shift. There were no technical requirements required for the observers other than to be alert. In over 300 years no observer had seen anything through the observation screens, it was completely dark outside. The only indication of the fact that they where actually moving was that the main thrust engines were still firing.

    After the initial disaster, in which the ship had reached a speed 20 times the expected speed, they had managed to jury rig a speed indicator. This currently gave them a reading of 1.5million miles/second. This was considerably less than the maximum speed reached of approximately 6 million miles/second estimated whilst they were within the outer limits of the known universe.

    Their inability to shut down the thrust engines in the first 10 years had been caused by a malfunction in the hydrogen scoop. This had caused the engines to operate like ram-jets, and the normal shut-down systems had no effect. The vast quantity of hydrogen available, and their high velocity created a self-sustaining reaction.

    By the time they managed to weld a safety cage to the outside of the ship to enable them to repair the hydrogen scoop, many months elapsed. This was because they had to operate under the force of a 2g  acceleration force and it was extremely dangerous operating outside the ship. It was even more dangerous close to the hydrogen scoop, and extreme safety measures were required to prevent the engineers from disappearing into the scoop and feeding the engines.

    They were well outside the boundary of the known universe, before they realised that the rate of acceleration was gradually falling. By this time the visible universe had appeared as a large sphere of bright lights.


    Anyone like to complete this story? I have never come across a Sci-Fi story covering this subject.

    I have never been good at story telling, although my mother could keep a child’s adventure story going for months.

    You can certainly publish under your own name.


    Time to reach the claimed speed of light at 1g acceleration.

    The equation for acceleration is a = (v-u) divided by t.

    a = acceleration  = g = 9.8 m/s/s
    v = final velocity =300,000,000 m/s
    u = initial velocity=0
    t = time

    9.8= (300000000 – 0) / ‘t’
    9.8 X ‘t’= 300,000,000
    ‘t’= 300,000,000 / 9.8
    Time to reach 300,000 kilometres/sec.  (The claimed maximum speed of light) at an acceleration of 1G = 30612245 seconds divided  24 x 60 x 60 = approximately 353 days., (roughly one year)


    Basically, Entropy is the amount of heat energy unusable in a system. It can be likened to a car engine system where parts of the engine may rise to 300°C or higher, but this heat is of no use to the operation of the engine. A car cooling system is designed to keep the engine temperature down to about 100°C.

    A better simile would be a stream running down a mountain towards a lake. Along the stream we could place waterwheels with generators.

    The water in the stream itself contains usable energy whist it is running down the mountain, but on arrival at the lake no more energy is available.

    The lake is the entropy of the stream/lake system.  If the lake emptied into the sea then more energy would available from the stream water which would become part of the stream/lake/sea system, the sea becoming the entropy of this system. The water is still there but is unusable for us but is quite handy for the fish.

    Some scientists ARE very worried about entropy, some arguing that it would be the heat death of the universe. Fortunately, energy of all kinds is involved in entropy.

    There will be a follow-up post relating to this subject but not until I’ve sorted out all my web problems.


    Author – Brian Williams