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Some physics problems? (Posted on 2006-04-16) Difficulty: 5 of 5
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)

Comments: ( Back to comment list | You must be logged in to post comments.)
re(2): E = mc^2 | Comment 5 of 13 |
(In reply to re: E = mc^2 by Hugo)

An alternating current generator is simply a means to convert mechanical energy into electromagnetic energy.
The generator does not produce MORE energy, but can only theoretically convert an EQUAL amount of mechanical
energy (assuming complete efficiency of conversion with no loss due to friction, resistance, interferrence, etc.) into electromagnetic energy. For the hypothetical ac generator to produce an infinte amount of energy, therefore, it will need to be "fed" an infinite amount of energy.


  Posted by Dej Mar on 2006-04-17 06:36:15
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