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Do synergistic systems break the laws of thermodynamics?

Laws of thermodynamics state you can get close to a 100% return but something is always lost. You cant get something from nothing, yet the very deginition of synergy implies that 1 plus 1 can equal three. Where is this added effect originating from. Would that even be considered breaking the laws of thermodynamics? Please educate me.

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    Jul 23 2013: The amount of energy/matter (they are different forms of the same thing) in the Universe is fixed. Not one, single speck can be destroyed or added. Synergy does not equal creation any more than combustion equals destruction.
  • Jul 22 2013: Synergy is the interaction of multiple elements in a system to produce an effect different from or greater than the sum of their individual effects.(Wiki)

    In the case of one million people jumping on the Golden Gate Bridge, if they do it in series nothing significant would occur. If they do it in parallel, they might cause it to move, or maybe even fall down. This would be an example of a pair of different effects from the same action. The energy required is the same.

    If you study math and science, chances are you will be better able to solve engineering problems. Here you got something for nothing (assuming you had to study math and science), but the energy was the same.

    There are no synergistic system example in thermodynamics where energy is increased beyond the sum of the inputs, and in fact there will always be losses. Often, stored chemical energy or potential energy are falsely believed to be energy increases.

    There may be one counter-example. when you do a good turn for someone, you usually feel good from your action and so do they, and frequently it has a positive effect on others as well as they watch or learn of the deed. In this manner, one positive energy action had several positive energy reactions, but it is tough to fit feelings into one of the Thermodynamic Laws.
    • Jul 22 2013: You would say "there are no
      examples of synergistic systems in nature" . Thermodynamic
      laws are laws of nature ie. the physical world as we know it,
      correct? In medicine, certain molecular structures are known to
      be synergists or is this a falsehood, and if so , would the word
      itself be put in the same category as "coincidence"?
      • Jul 22 2013: Nathan,

        I am way, way out of my depth here, but I will provide you my guess at the answer.

        I would guess a synergist in molecular structures is something that is a catalyst for something else to happen that is bigger and more complex than the original molecule. I would be willing to bet two cookies and Diet Dr. Pepper that once it causes something to start, that the energy, mass, heat, etc. from the ensuing reaction or process is already there someplace and is just changing form in some unique way. I provided a few web pages which led me to this guess.


        http://purescience.wikia.com/wiki/Synergistic_genetics

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistasis

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Receptor_antagonist

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agonist
        • Jul 25 2013: Thanks for those links. I didnt fully understand them but i got enough. So my understanding is this..... synergists u could say are pulling each others full potential out. The energy was already there. So when applied to internal combustion engines, the maximum amount of energy that can be produced per cup of gasoline is still not known, which would be the only reason why mpg would ever increase on a given engine type. The best route for free energy would be to harness that which is already heated or in motion ie. Weather and water.i see whymagnetic motors really cant be pepetual but i will investigate further before i even try to go into that realm. Thank you very much for your input.
      • Jul 25 2013: In your internal combustion engine example, the maximum amount of energy that can be produced from a cup of gasoline used for fuel in the engine is bounded by the maximum chemical energy content of the gasoline. The engine is trying to convert this chemical energy into kinetic energy or mechanical energy, and does so at some efficiency. The efficiency of the Thermodynamic process used by the engine and the mechanical efficiency of the machinery(friction, etc) would combine to define this overall efficiency. there are more factors (environmental conditions, condition of engine, etc.) but that is the big picture.

        Yes! There is much work being done using solar, wind, tides, and similar natural energy sources to see if we can convert the energy efficiently and transfer it to where it is needed effectively.
        • Jul 25 2013: So after a hundred pluss years of roughly the same technology engineers still havent designed an optimum engine for maximum efficiency? Not that im talkin crap cause i really dont know crap when it comes to making one myself but are there really "powers that be" halting the production of highly efficient motors?
      • Jul 25 2013: Nathan,

        Here s a neat link : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internal_combustion

        In response to your question, I am tempted to say Carnot cycle relative to thermodynamic process, but I think the real answer is that maximum efficiency is not a well described target, because engines are asked to do such a wide variety of things for a particular customer base. Different customers have different needs (mileage, speed, towing capacity, duration, longevity, payload, cost, noise, etc.) and the requirements are constantly changing (fuel, emissions, material costs, price, manufacturing processes, etc.). There is also an economy of scale factor, where the more you make of the same type, theoretically, the cheaper you can make each one, so grouping the needs of various customer groups to find this right balance is a constant challenge.
  • Jul 22 2013: You would say "there are no examples of synergistic systems in nature" . Thermodynamic laws are laws of nature ie. the physical world as we know it, correct? In medicine, certain molecular structures are known to be synergists or is this a falsehood, and if so , would the word itself be put in the same category as "coincidence"?