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Publication numberUS3289321 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 6, 1966
Filing dateDec 31, 1963
Priority dateDec 31, 1963
Publication numberUS 3289321 A, US 3289321A, US-A-3289321, US3289321 A, US3289321A
InventorsVictor Sussman Martin
Original AssigneeVictor Sussman Martin
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Demonstration device
US 3289321 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Hem 6,, 19% M. v. SUSSMAN 3,239,321

DEMONSTRATION DEVICE Filed Dec. 31, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 I N VENTOR.

9 1% M v. SUSSMAN 3,29,321

DEMONSTRATION DEVICE Filed Dec. 31, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG.

VENTOR.

United States Patent 3,289,321 DEMONSTRATION DEVICE Martin Victor Sussman, 11 Lexington Ave., Lexington, Mass.

Filed Dec. 31, 1963, Ser. No. 339,837 4 Claims. (CI. 35-10) The invention relates to a novel device for demonstrating certain principles of thermodynamics.

In spite of its great practical utility there are relatively few devices available to demonstrate fundamental concepts of the science of thermodynamics.

It is an object of this invention to provide a demonstration of the thermodynamic concept of Irreversibility. It is a further object of this invention to provide an illustration of the concept known as Maxwells Demon.

It is a further object of this invention to provide an apparatus and means for playing a novel game of chance. Additional objects of this invention and means for obtaining them will be gained from the following description.

FIGURE I is a view in elevation of a transparent flask or bottle containing a number of small spheres used for demonstrating the thermodynamic concept of irreversibility.

FIGURE II is a cross-sectional view of one embodiment of the energy absorbing spheres which can be used in the flask of FIGURE I.

FIGURE III is an enlarged fragmentary view of the neck of a flask for use as a chance device.

FIGURE IV is a view in elevation of a flask or bottle used as a modified chance device.

The concept of irreversibility in thermodynamics pertains to processes performed on aggregates of matter wherein the initial state of aggregation cannot be restored by simply reversing the order in which the process was performed. Examples of irreversible processes are the breaking of a pane of glass or the mixing of a tumbler of hot water with a tumbler of cold water. The contention of the irreversibility principle is that the irreversibility of a process is dependent upon the probability of restoring the object or system under consideration to its initial state by simple reversal of the completed process.

The invention to demonstrate this principle is shown in FIGURE I. It consists of a transparent flask or bottle 1 having a large conically shaped body 2, surmounted by a long neck 3. A number of colored small spheres 4, 5 are sealed within the bottle. The spheres are constructed of cork, wood, plastic, lightmetal or rubber. Two contrasting colors are used. The spheres are either wholly of one color or the other. The diameter of the spheres is slightly smaller than the internal diameter of the neck of the flask. The neck of the flask is sealed so that the contents of the bottle cannot be altered or touched. Preferred colors for the spheres are black and white, or black and red.

The invention operates as follows: By means which will be described hereinafter, the spheres are arranged in the neck of the bottle as illustrated in FIGURE I. FIGURE I shows a bottle containing five black spheres 5 and five white 4 spheres. The bottle is held neck down so that the spheres are contained in the neck. The order of the spheres is as shownfive black surmounted by five white. The length of the bottle neck is slightly greater than that required to accommodate the column of ten spheres.

If the bottle is now inverted so as to spill the contents of the neck into the body of the bottle, a process is accomplished which illustrates the concept of thermodynamic irreversibility. When the bottle is re-inverted so as to cause the spheres to flow back into the neck, the array of black and white spheres will be random. The process is analogous to the mixing of a tumbler of hot ice and a tumbler of cold water. The demonstration also illustrates that restoration of a system to its initial state of aggregation after performance of an irreversible process is not impossible, but unlikely. When using ten spheres, five of which are white and live of which are black, the likelihood of reestablishing the initial aggregation is calculable by mathematical techniques and amounts to 1 in 252.

The invention can now be used to illustrate the Maxwell Demon concept. The Demon is a concept that Was suggested in the late nineteenth century by James Clark Maxwell, as a means for separating the hot and cold molecules in a gas at a uniform average temperature.

In order to restore the spheres in the said invention to their initial array it is clear that a Maxwells Demon of some sort is required to separate the black spheres from the white. The only other alternative is to invert and re-invert the bottle until the proper array of five black balls surmounted by five white balls is achieved by chance. In this invention a Maxwells Demon has, in eflect, been built into the flask so that it is possible to accomplish a rapid restoration of the initial array of spheres. This latter task is accomplished by constructing the spheres which are to enter the neck of the bottle first (the five black spheres), in a manner similar to that shown in FIGURE II. FIGURE II is a cross section of one such sphere. The interior of the sphere is hollow 6 and a small unconstrained spherical body 7 is sealed within this hollow. The small loose sphere within the hollow acts as a momentum absorber and causes the large sphere to lose momentum rapidly. In addition to a small sphere, any unconstrained mass may be enclosed in the hollow. Materials such as bits of wire, powder or liquid may be sealed inside the hollow to act as energy and momentum absorbers. Alternatively the energy absorbing spheres can be moulded in solid plastic using a composition and plasticizer which gives high internal friction and an inelastic bounce.

With the black spheres constructed as shown in FIG- URE II the restoration of the initial array is accomplished as follows. The flask is grasped at the neck and held so that the contents rest in the flask body. The flask is then moved in a circular fashion so as to cause the contents of the flask body to swirl rapidly. With the contents swirling the flask is inverted, neck down. The spheres will continue to follow a circular path inside the body of the flask. After a rather short while the rate of swirling will begin to subside and those spheres constructed with internal energy absorbing means will be the first to drop into the neck of the flask.

The device herein described can also be used for a game of chance if modified according to any of the following schemes. The flask is constructed in a manner identical to that described above except that only five balls, three black and two white, are sealed within the flask. The balls are all identical except for color. No energy absorbers are used. As shown in FIGURE III, the neck of the flask 3 has numbers. 8 printed or engraved on it in positions coincident with the center of the balls, when the balls are in the neck, that is when the flask is held neck down. The numbers may be in any sequence but a particularly interesting one and preferred sequence is that shown in FIGURE III.

The device as shown is now a means for generating the numbers four, five, six, seven and eight according to readily calculata'ble odds. A number is generated by allowing the spheres to flow from the body of the flask into the neck by inverting the flask to its neck down position. The number generated is read by adding the numbers printed on the neck of the flask opposite the positions of the black balls. Thus for example, FIGURE III illustrates one of four possible ways of making 7. There are tWo ways of making the number 4, two ways of making the number 5, one way of making the number 6, and one way of making 8.

Rules for play may be similar to that used in dice. The player wins if he makes a 7 on his first inversion. If he makes some number other than 7 he continues to reinvert the flask and tries to repeat the number he obtained initially. Should he succeed in repeating his initial number prior to getting a 7 he wins. However, if he gets 7 before he reproduces his initial number he loses and passes the flask to the next player.

Many variations of this device are possible. For example ten unweighted spheres, five colored black and live colored white, could be used. In addition an opaque mask is used to cover the portion of the flask from the midpoint of the flask body and extending up the neck of the flask just short of the resting point of the fifth sphere in the flask neck 9. This arrangement is illustrated in FIGURE IV. The ball posit-ions in the neck are numbered 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 (10). The flask is used in place of a roulette wheel with those numbers being summed which appear opposite the black balls. Many types of bets are possible as in roulette. For example, one can bet on the total, which will range from through and including 31. Similarly, bets can be placed on the total number of black balls appearing; on the color of the bottom ball; on three balls in a row; on a staggered array; on all black or all white balls; and on many other combinations.

The tapered or conical shape of the upper part of the flask body contributes to the effectiveness of the device as herein described by lengthening the time that the spheres continue to swirl and by increasing the efliciency of separation between the plain spheres and those spheres that have been constructed so as to contain energy absorbers. Numerous variations of the invention hereinbefore described will become apparent. The invention is not confined to a strict conformity with the showing of the drawings, but may be changed or modified so long as such changes or modifications make no material departure from the salient features of the invention as herein described.

I claim:

1. A device for illustrating irreversibility and Maxlwells Demon, comprising a closed transparent bottle containing two sets of small spheres, all of the same diameter, each set of spheres of a difierent color, wherein one set of spheres is provided with means for dissipating and absorbing momentum more rapidly and to a significantly greater extent than the other set of spheres, said bottle having a neck of internal diameter slightly larger than the small sphere diameter and of length greater than the product of the total number of spheres times the sphere diameter, and said neck being sealed at its end.

2. A device for illustrating irreversibility and Maxwells Demon, comprising a closed transparent bottle containing two sets of small spheres, all of the same diameter, each set of spheres of a different color, wherein one set of spheres is provided with means for dissipating and absorbing momentum more rapidly and to a significantly greater extent than the other set of spheres, said means comprising each member of the former set of spheres being hollow and having an unconstrained mass disposed within the hollow and the latter set of spheres being devoid of internal unconstrained masses, and said transparent bottle having a neck of internal diameter slightly larger than the small sphere diameter and of length greater than the product of the total number of spheres times the sphere diameter, and said neck being sealed at its end.

3. The device of claim 2 wherein each sphere of one set of spheres is hollow and encloses a smaller unconstrained metal sphere, and each sphere of the other set of spheres is devoid of unconstrained internal masses.

4. A device illustrating irreversibility and Maxwells Demon, comprising a closed transparent bottle containing two sets of small spheres all of the same diameter, each set of spheres of a different color, wherein one set of spheres is provided with means for dissipating and absorbing momentum more rapidly and to a significantly greater extent than the other set of spheres, said means comprising each member of the former set of spheres being moulded with a plastic composition and plasticizer which gives higher internal friction and more inelastic bounce than the material used to form the latter set of spheres.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 143,599 10/1873 Twamly 273144.2 2,426,915 9/1947 Bains 27358.8 2,665,915 1/1954 Steig 273144.2 2,670,206 2/1954- Brewster 27358.8 X 2,752,725 7/1956 Unsworth 2728 X FOREIGN PATENTS 1,030,506 3/1953 France.

8,239 1908 Great Britain.

RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner.

A. W. KRAMER, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US143599 *Apr 11, 1873Oct 14, 1873 Improvement in dice-boxes
US2426915 *Mar 20, 1945Sep 2, 1947Jr Thomas M BainsGame apparatus
US2665915 *Mar 15, 1951Jan 12, 1954William SteigGaming device
US2670206 *Jul 13, 1949Feb 23, 1954Oswald C BrewsterRolling-ball racing game
US2752725 *Oct 28, 1952Jul 3, 1956Kentworth CorpFluid filled container with movable objects therein
FR1030506A * Title not available
GB190808239A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4273335 *Nov 13, 1979Jun 16, 1981Georges AllonsiusIndicia selector
US4403775 *Jun 14, 1982Sep 13, 1983Chaput Joseph RRandom indicia selector
US4822048 *Jul 14, 1987Apr 18, 1989Axup Austin HMix and display chance device
US5046984 *Apr 11, 1990Sep 10, 1991Cane David ABouncing ball launcher
US6152741 *Aug 7, 1999Nov 28, 2000Hirata; GlorianeDevice for teaching electrostatic principles
US20040104531 *Dec 2, 2002Jun 3, 2004Dreaper Thomas ScottMethod and apparatus for wagering or entertainment based on outcomes of indicia
Classifications
U.S. Classification434/300, 273/144.00B
International ClassificationG09B23/06, G09B23/00
Cooperative ClassificationG09B23/06
European ClassificationG09B23/06