The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that usable energy tends towards unusable energy. Turns out this may be more of a rule of thumb, than a universal law.
So, here is a cool experiment vaguely like what we attempted with a Celani wire not too long ago, but at much higher temperatures and much lower vacuums. To make a long story short, they seem to have proven that a closed system can still do useful work. Even more cool: they believe in using an open science approach to help develop it!!
Their work was published in Nature and Physical Review E, and Foundations of Physics
- Freely downloadable: http://jointheparadigm.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Foundations-of-Physics.pdf
(I have read these, but I am not sure I have permission to publish copies of them here.)
Check out their website: http://jointheparadigm.com/
Let us know if you think we should be doing a replication ourselves.