Meteorswarm wrote:

The laws of thermodynamics are very, very true. You cannot get free energy, no matter how nice it would be, and no matter how much science fiction you read.

Nitpick: the laws of thermodynamics are very, very, very true - for macroscopic systems, and in a statistical sense.

A ten-molecules system, for example, would not even have a well-defined temperature to begin with, and

could spontaneously evolve from a disordered configuration to an ordered one.

As for the first law, a single electron does not have an energy in the classical sense: the closest match, if I am not mistaken, would be the expected value of the Hamiltonian - which

is conserved, of course, since the Hamiltonian commutes with itself; but it's only an expected value, after all, and an actual measurement of the energy of the electron could give a different result.

Not that any of this implies that you can get free energy, of course...

I hope I did not make mistakes, it's been a while since I studied this stuff - by the way, what is a good graduate-level book on thermodynamics? I have been working quite a bit on information theory lately, and I would like to better understand the physics behind Landauer's principle.

Plus, thermodynamics is fun