• Question: If you could change one law of physics what would it be and why?

    Asked by jillpf to Adam, Eleanor, Sinead on 21 Nov 2013.
    • Photo: Sinead Cullen

      Sinead Cullen answered on 21 Nov 2013:

      Hi Jill,
      Wow cool question, em maybe I would get rid of gravity for just one day, It would be cool to float around and feel weightless. Maybe one day would even be too long, maybe just one hour 🙂

    • Photo: Adam Murphy

      Adam Murphy answered on 21 Nov 2013:

      Hey Jill, this is a brilliant question!

      I think I’d like to make it possible to go faster than light somehow!

      If we could do that, long distance space travel would be possible! We’d be able to visit distant stars and planets and see them for ourselves. I think that would be amazing!

    • Photo: Eleanor Holmes

      Eleanor Holmes answered on 21 Nov 2013:

      Oh wow. This one might get my vote for best question. I’m going to have to think about this for a while. I’ll update you soon!

      OK, Adam has faster than light travel covered and Sinéad is making us all fly. I am assuming these changes are going to be accumulative!

      So I would change the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The 2nd Law states that no system doing work can be perfectly efficient. It will always lose some energy to the outside world and therefore perpetual motion is impossible. But if I change it so that perpetual motion IS possible then we could design all sorts of systems that could run themselves forever.

      Like a light bulb that shines on a solar cell that powers the light bulb. Or a washing machine that spins by a rotating wheel of buckets that keep pouring water into the next bucket to keep turning. We could cut our power consumption in half and have great fun designing crazy contraptions that can power themselves!

      Also bonus: all the energy in the universe would stay useful forever. Currently, with the 2nd Law of Thermodynamic in effect, all the energy in the universe is conserved, but as time goes on it becomes less and less useful. Most uses of energy convert the energy into heat energy. Now heat energy is great so long as it’s all in one place, but the universe is very large and the heat energy spreads out until the energy that would have been 300 degrees in your fireplace is now 0.01 degree in the whole of Earth’s atmosphere. It’s called an Enthropy Crisis or the Heat Death of the universe (which is not like global warming, it’s something that will happen millions of billions of years from now when the Universe ends.

      I may have gotten too technical there. Thermodynamics is very complicated. If I could change physics I would make it much much simpler by changing the 2nd Law to be more fun.