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This is the site to ask your WhitescarverClock related questions.

Your question here...

How many states does the WhitescarverClock have?

You are measuring 1 bit, aren't you? A on B off. A off B on. Therefore one bit. But how many states? States are much more 'mutable'. For instance:

Case 1: States:

  1. ) Open
  2. ) Closed

You merely have 2 states inside your Closed state, making it a super state. Closed two sub states:

  1. ) A
  2. ) B

In this case, it's a total of 3 states, counting the sub-states of closed.

Just curious. ;) ---StarPilot

'Externally I think of it as having just two states, "A and B" and "A or B", though without the "or" operation it would have 3, "A and B", "A", and "B".'
'The cycle is:'
# door opens one piston down,
# delay,
# both pistons up door closes,
# delay,
# repeat.
'Which piston is involved is random.  We have achieved basic order from randomness.'

Sidebar: The WhitescarverClock is not a perpetual motion machine... unless the molecule you are measuring provides the power for the closing and subsequent opening of the gate.

'Not correct.  It absorbs energy from it's surroundings, molecules bouncing on the outside keep the walls at room temperature and the walls in turn "heat" the inner molecule.  The lower limit of the energy required to open or close the door is zero and it is reasonable to assume it can be accomplished by a piston reaching an extreme.'

Is that what you were envisioning? That will also not last, not even with the near perfect vacuum inside the measuring area. Eventually, enough of the momentum of your lone molecule/particle will be absorbed by the measuring chamber's walls for it to reach an equilibrium and have no actual movement left, won't it? Unless you are somehow heating the clock's chamber walls, so as to make up the difference for momentum lost = energy gained, yes? --- SP

'Exactly right====  We have a refrigerator that you don't need to plug in.  If we could get it to work analog instead of just binary we could make millions.'

Er... Humm? So the Molecule/Atom/Particle/Whatever strikes a piston/detector and that drives/triggers the close? Your delay is merely waiting for the contact then? I've seem to have constructed a different mental image of the Clock then what was meant.

Sequence Chain:

  1. Both chambers up, Gate up, Particle moving. (State: Open)
  2. Particle strikes sensor/Piston A, Gate closes... (State: Closed)
  3. Gate resets... (State: Open)

Er... why have the multiple chambers if which chamber housing the particle is unimportant? Unless you are using the particle to drive the clock back into Step A?

'I can see the discription of operation is incomplete (or unclear anyway) about the door triggers and operation of the engine.'
'With the door open the molecule approximates room temperature though interaction with the wall molecures and the detectors are both pushed to the top.  Both up triggers the door to closes.  Now one chamber is evacuated and one is at room temperature allowing one piston to fall.  The trigger that opens the door is when either piston falls allowing the cycle to repeat forever.'

And this sure seems to have a lot more states then 2.

Humm... so its? :

  1. Both Chamber Pistons up, Gate up, Particle moving. (State: Fully Reset)
  2. Particle strikes detector A. (Event: Detected) ' no, both pistons up triggers the door close.'
  3. Gate closes. (State: Closed :: Substate: Chamber A Occupied)
  4. Measure Chambers (State: Closed :: Substate: Measuring). 'We can't really measure anything, we change the system and then let it reach equilibrium.'
 # Chamber A = True.
 # Chamber B = False.
 # A ===== B, goto reset.
  1. Open Gate. (State: Pending Reset)

Humm... Yep. You're description calls for a test to make sure that A=====B for occupancy... what do you do if you catch your particle? Why, you still have to open the gate! ====

'One side evacuated runs the engine.  If both sides were empty both detectors would fall and the door would still open, but then it would stop.'

Let's run the scenario, but this time the particle gets trapped under the gate during closure.

  1. Both Chamber Pistons up, Gate up, Particle moving. (State: Fully Reset)
  2. Particle strikes detector A. (Event: Detected)
  3. Gate closes. (State: Closed :: Substate: Tie)
  4. Measure Chambers (State: Closed :: Substate: Measuring)
 # Chamber A = False.
 # Chamber B = False.
 # A = B, result: Failure, goto reset.
  1. Open Gate. (State: Pending Reset)
'if it gets stuck there are two possibilities. Detectors fall and gate opens or the clock stops.'

So, it seems to call for simplification to me. Clock is merely detecting a strike on the detector, and then resets for the next strike.

'Indeed, random Brownian motion does not itself sufficiently demonstate order emerging from chaos, since it is random, looking at the count of events perspective, however, we can perceive ordered behaivior.  The clock is really just an event source, but its stucture demonstrates manifesting microcosmic information in the macrosom which the single detector cannot do alone.'

And you still have 3 states, regardless. Although state 'Pending Reset' may be superfilous if there is no work that needs to be done to reset for the next detection tick. (In your example, you have one piston down that needs to be raised to the beginning state, which requires work to correct.)

 'hopefully that is cleared up above,,,,'

Technically you may gain substates in your Event Detected/Closed superstate. If we are generating 'ticks' by detecting the particle striking a detector, then to derive useful work from it, something needs to measure that tick. Whether it's the completion of a circuit, creating a tick pulse or what not. Depends on your final implementation.

'The motion of the center cross bar raised and lowered by either piston can be used to drive a clock gear or do work.  Make it a magnet and let it move through a coil of wire if you prefer your energy as electro-magnetic.'

Oh... and in your explaining it, you presumed that your clock was being fed outside energy from the air. That wouldn't create a perpetual motion machine. It is gaining it's lost energy from the temperature difference. Therefore it's not a perpetual motion machine, therefore you could patent it. I had originally envisioned it in as perfect a vacuum as possible, otherwise you are going to have to feed it energy to make up for air friction for that external parts going up and down (outer part of the Gate, Pistons). Gotta push that air out of the way, after all. ---StarPilot

'indeed, shielding the pistons and cross bar from external energy is a concern if we were really going to build this.  This is a concetputal physical devise, really building it is another issue.'

And just how does this give us an IP Clock? Closed state versus Non-Closed state(s) event sequence? This connection I just haven't fully grasped. --SP

 'as a source of macrocosmic events from microscopic chaos.'

And reviewing it, I suppose that State Pending Reset is truly a substate of State: Closed, as the gate is closed, but we are entering a work procedure to reset, most likely with a final substate exiting event of Opened (Gate), which transitions us from State: Closed to State: Open. --SP

 'The effective number of states externally is two.  We need not consider more than the 4 minimal discete internal states unless we wanted to acually build one of these using bunches of atoms with lots of states.'


  1. A and B up, gate closed, delay, one sinks
  2. A or B down gate open, delay, both float


  1. A and B up, gate closed, delay, one sinks
  # A sinks or
  # B sinks
  1. A or B down gate open, delay, both float
  # A floats or
  # B floats

Ordinarily macrocosmic information is lost to the microcosm, The WhitescarverClock demonstrates losing microcosmic information to the macrocosm and may provide insight into WhyTheQuantum.

Ok... so the DELAY is: Vacuuming out a chamber. That's work done, a definate state during superstate Closed. Question: How do you know which chamber to vacuum?

'No, no, no====  I did not invent the Szilard engine and am not explaining it well appearently.  These are heat engines, the pistons are driven by a temperature difference like a steam engine or a gasolene engine, but in the case of the Szilard engine we have reduced the problem to a single molecule that drives the piston. See [[Google:Szilard+engine]].  We do not vacuum anything, the side that happens to contain no molecule just happens to be a vacuum.  The delay is the random time it takes for the molecule to hit the piston and drive it up or for the piston to sink in the empty chamber.'

And from you've said so far... the particle is still meaningless. The gate falls whenever both pistons are up.

'Right, and the only way both pistons can get pushed up by the molecule is if the door is open.'

This is the trigger for transition to state Closed. That makes it a guard condition from state Open to Closed. And the transition trigger from state Closed to Open is that one piston is down, one piston is up. That yields:

{Both Pistons Up}
{One Piston Down, One Piston Up}

and Repeat.

Your delay period results from the time it takes your piston to travel from the Up to Down and from the Down to Up.

'Yes.  The molecule loses energy which it must regain from the walls to push the pistons up.'

The particle is superfulous in this instance. It cannot drive the down piston 'up', as it will be in the wrong chamber. So the particle plays no actual role in the clock. It is a basic escapement clock, using the fall and rise of a piston for its time periods.

 'incorrect. the door opens allowing the molecule to push the piston up.'

For your further thoughts, consider a simplification of the clock, wherein we remove the gate entirely and a piston entirely, having only a simple chamber with the piston. It starts from the Up (open) position, falls to its extended Down (closed) extension, and then transitions back up. Classic escapement of a clock, and a basic time keeping technology in mechanical timing.

 'The piston will not fall as long as the temperature inside and outside are the same.  The idea of a heat engine is to create a temporature differencial to drive the piston.'

In the WhitescarverClock, if we have outside pressure on the pistons, then one particle inside one chamber isn't going to provide the power/pressure/work to keep a piston 'up', unless it matches the pressure on the other side of the piston. Without this, we haven't a pressure difference between the empty and full chambers and their outside, and therefore no way to distinguish which piston stays up, and which is forced down.

'If you think of there being a vacuum behind the piston inside the chamber you can see how it would move up when the molecule randomly strikes it.  You are correct that there must be some tiny downward force (e.g. gravity/pressure) to cause the piston in an empty chanber to sink.  In the Szilard engine we choose this forse to be any force less than the force our molecule at room temperature striking the piston.'

And in no cases, as the interior molecule isn't doing any real work, can we get our down pistons up without outside energy of some form. Again, no perpetual motion machine. Outside energy is required to continue to do work.

 'yes, a small pressure or forse from the outside is required, no problem, there is unlimeted ambient energy available for that purpose.  It uses external energy, it is a regrigerator you don't need to plug in.  It still moves perpetually.'

So, as the particle doesn't seem involved, and it is purely what state the Piston is in (Up(Transitioning Down)/Down(Transitioning Up)) where does the microscopic or quantum or whatever level enter into this? I'm just missing this. Unless you mean that the pressure difference between Chambers A and B (due to Particle in one chamber) is the causal force to drive the vacant chamber's piston to fall? This doesn't seem to be the cause of that work, otherwise the clock would fall if the gate pinned the particle under it. In that case, both chambers have identical occupancy/pressure, therefore the pistons would remain up, and the clock would fail. As I've said, only with an identical pressure outside the pistons equal to the pressure of the Particle pressing on BOTH pistons do we have equalibrium. (We need both pistons during the up moment, I believe, as random movement means that our Particle will equally strike both pistons, on average, all other things being equal.) You state that it is the non-equilibrium that provides the work energy. Which is fine, except we haven't anything to drive the piston back up, at this point. Unless you are presuming that piston down, gate up, allowing the Particle to get under the piston and bang it up again? That requires that the pressure difference between the OPEN state inside the larger chamber is greater then the pressure outside of the pistons... Humm... So, refinement: Pressure inside dual open chamber is greater then outside. So, conditions for pressure difference to drive the work... Pressure inside is greater then outside when gate is open; pressure inside empty chamber is less then outside empty chamber.

'That is the basic idea temperature/pressure/collisions are what drive the engine.  Without the molecule the engine would not run.'

Unless the energy from the particle striking its chamber's piston in the closed state is meant to drive the other piston down via transference? So we need a vacuum and microgravity (freefall) conditions? Otherwise we have to fight gravity's pull on the pistons. (Again, this does not seem to be what you had in mind though, as you stated both Pistons would fall if the Particle was to be trapped under the Gate. That implies gravity is the work force down, and the Particle is the instrument providing the counter to that.)

 'gravity, vacuum, pressure difference, temperature difference, the engin is balanced so the action of the molecule makes the difference as to whether the piston is allowed to fall or is pushed up.'

Hey, I'm still trying to figure out all the conditions you've pressumed to get the WhitescarverClock to work. And why we need the Particle... if the Particle doesn't do work, it isn't need. So I'm trying to figure out what function it actually performs in your escapement setup. The clock is supposed to be a ThoughtExperiment, not a flight of pure fantasy, right? ----StarPilot

 'Yes, and it builds on the existing science of the Szilard engine.  Nothing happens, no pistons will ever be pushed up without the molecule.'

The object is to employ random internal fluctuations of the microcosm to do work in the macrocosm.

Consider a system of molecules at equilibrium:


Even though fluctuations arise randomly we have no way of knowing when they occur so we can no use them to do work. Reducing the problem to one molecule in the Szilard engine in the WhitescarverClock forces there to be a fluctuation every time we measure the system since the molecule can only be on one side or the other and we use it to do work in either case.

If this worked on a commecial scale you could get unlimited energy right from the room temporature air around us. Clearly it does not work on that scale. But when a dust particle randomly jumps around due to collisions with molecules you can see Maxwell's daemon at work, a macro (almost) particle getting energy from it's environment. When you hear the sound of the ocean in a sea shell, the power of random molecule is amplified so you can hear it (it powers your ear).


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