Would it be possible (at least in theory) to heat a small building using a heat pump, but using no energy to run the pump? It seems unlikely, but why not? I am familiar with the laws of thermodynamics. I know we are not supposed to be able to get work from a non-spontaneous process, like a heat pump. Say you used a Stirling engine to start the process. You could easily get five or ten times more thermal energy out than the energy used. Then you could use some of that energy to run the pump leaving the rest to heat the building. What am I missing here? This is a question about physics theory, not about engineering.
By Emily Sprague
September 22, 2011
This blog post is written by undergraduate Emily Sprague. She is the president of the Society for Women in Physics (SWIP.) SWIP is a registered student organization that is organized and run by undergraduate physics students.
The Physics Society (PHYSOC) and Society for Women in Physics (SWIP) Fall BBQ took place this past weekend at Illini Grove. Over 50 students in physics, engineering, and related disciplines were in attendance for an afternoon of fun, friends, and delicious food! In addition to promoting academic excellence, both societies believe in the importance of having fun and developing strong social ties with fellow peers. This past weekend was a great success and we look forward to additional events sponsored by the Physics Society and Society for Women in Physics!
Both SWIP and PHYSOC are very active and have lots of things going on. In a couple of weeks SWIP will host a "How to Get Into Graduate School" session that featured faculty, student and administrative experts (Oct 5, 7-9pm, 144 Loomis) . PHYSOC has a monthly "pizza with faculty" event where students get to chat with faculty members over pizza. SWIP will be organizing a group that will attend the Midwest Women in Physics Conference in January, an annual event that is really fun and a great chance to network with other physicists. PHYSOC is going to organize a tour of Fermilab later this fall.
Physics isn't only about classes and research. Our student groups are an important part of the Physics Department and student life!
If you have questions about the Physics Illinois Undergraduate Program, contact the Undergraduate Office, 217.333.4361.
If you have any feedback or suggestions for this blog, please contact Kevin Pitts.
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