Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Landauer's Firewood

Save some Trees!
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The Halfbakers, being a highly intelligent and erudite lot, are no doubt familiar with Landauer's Principle - the slightly unexpected concept that the heat generated by a CPU, thus necessitating heat sinks, arises not from any action of the electronics but from the loss of information (just to jog your memory).

With computers, that loss of information is as a result of the computations performed (if they are irreversible).

Therefore firewood could be made to burn hotter by the simple expedient of printing numbers all over it

philmckraken, Jun 30 2004

Maxwell's demon and Landauer's Principle explained. http://www.nature.c.../4061047a0_bx1.html
[DrBob, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

burning wood http://www.chimneys...CC-RSF/Rsfeduc.html
[FarmerJohn, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

[link]






       Really? Would this work?
bristolz, Jun 30 2004
  

       Even if true this would achieve the exact opposite effect to that which you want. The hotter the flames, the quicker the wood is consumed, the more trees you need to chop down. Here fishy, fishy!
DrBob, Jun 30 2004
  

       Really, [DrBob]? Is that true? Does a hotter fire consume fuel faster? Why do engines get really hot when they are run too lean?
bristolz, Jun 30 2004
  

       Obviously correct. Newsprint burns much more readily than wood.
ldischler, Jun 30 2004
  

       If the numbers have no meaning, then they aren't information.
--If they're not information, you're not gaining any heat.
--If they are information, you're putting energy into data manipulation when you could be out finding firewood, not to mention the energy spent printing the numbers in the first place. Fish.
yabba do yabba dabba, Jun 30 2004
  

       Pi should burn forever, or phi for that controlled fractal burn.   

       Well, bris, I reckon that a log thrown into a blast furnace would be consumed an awful lot quicker than if it were chucked on the log fire at home. That's only my intuition though, I stand to be corrected by someone who knows a bit more science than me, i.e. almost anybody.

I've got a bit of a translation problem with your last sentence. What does 'running an engine too lean' mean?
DrBob, Jun 30 2004
  

       Too lean is when the fuel to air ratio, as controlled by the induction system, has too little fuel for the total volume of gas being taken in. Engines can run very hot when this condition is prevalent. This is a case where less fuel burned produces higher heat.   

       Actually, it is a pointless attempt at engagiing you in a ridiculous argument ;-)
bristolz, Jun 30 2004
  

       //Does a hotter fire consume fuel faster?// A hotter fire need not consume fuel better or more of it - see link under "catalytic combustors:".
FarmerJohn, Jun 30 2004
  

       Usually, when an engine gets on the lean side of an ideal fuel mixture, the engine starts to cough and die. A "lean-burning" engine runs hot because the extra fuel in an engine running rich actually serves to cool the combustion process through evaporation. A lean burn is more efficient, and should be used if you have adequate cooling. In many small aircraft, you take off and climb at a rich setting, but during cruise at altitude, where you're moving fast and ingesting cold air, you lean out the mixture to save fuel.   

       As for the idea, it sounds more like a bad joke to me. (-)
Freefall, Jun 30 2004
  

       I gave some bread after [Beau] pointed out this was droll. Droll!
bungston, Jun 30 2004
  

       There's got to be "log-arythym" joke in there somewhere. +
lostdog, Jun 30 2004
  

       Hang on, I thought knowledge was power.
calum, Jul 01 2004
  

       This is clearly performing an erasure of knowledge, thus leading to the output of power, in accordance with Landauer's principle.
ye_river_xiv, Feb 03 2010
  

       "Never underestimate the power of very, very stupid people in large numbers".   

       c.f. "Democracy"
8th of 7, Feb 03 2010
  

       Or the power of very, very large numbers in stupid people.
pocmloc, Feb 03 2010
  

       Hmm... do you suppose the Library of Alexandria burned especially hot? And would the Library of Babel burn hotter, or colder than that?
mouseposture, Feb 03 2010
  
      
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