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 Some physics problems? (Posted on 2006-04-16)
This was a problem I troubled myself with when the Physics teacher taught electromagnetism.

Assuming that we can create a gigantic alternating current generator in space, rotating a gigantic circular magnet around a gigantic wire coil to induce an alternating current, will we not get infinite energy and defeat the law of conservation of energy?

As the whole set up is in space, there is no friction whatsoever between the components though the wire naturally has some resistance. The wire's induced magnetic field can oppose the rotation of the magnet, but this can be easily be counteracted by routing a bit of energy from an external circuit to the magnet. As the magnet is circular the gravitational attraction between the circular magnet and coils cancels out. The power from the wire coil will then be connected to a device which will transmit the energy to earth via an electromagnetic wave.

The only energy inputs are that to keep the ring rotating and the initial energy input to put the setup in space. The output in energy is theoretically infinite.

SOMETHING is wrong with this argument that I later discovered myself. The Physics teacher was unable to detect it and walked away quite puzzled. Can you guys find out why this would never work?

 See The Solution Submitted by Jack Lim Rating: 3.5000 (2 votes)

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 just a matter of inductance | Comment 2 of 13 |

A gigantic wire coil . . . a gigantic circular magnet rotating.

Places where one might lose energy:

To get rotational motion between the two, one would have to apply a force between the two. Friction is required to have the magnet rotate in relationship to the coil. This would be a tremendous amount of energy "in" to get this gizmo moving.

The current lags the magnet by a certain amount. This creates a "drag" on the magnet

Inductance would also lower the efficiency below 100%

Also resistance in the wires leads to high temperatures leading to a greater amount of black body radiation.

 Posted by Leming on 2006-04-16 18:01:30

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