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Recent Posts

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Money art and physics - march 2014

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President Trump, May 2014 - June 2017

Money, art and physics
(as if it were alive)
March 2014

From a physics point of view we could switch society to solar energy and completely abandon fossil fuels without spending additional money. And we could have done that already years ago. But we didn't and we don't.

Physics can only show, how to switch society to solar, but it cannot make this happen. So it needs allies.
For instance money. Or art. They might be good allies, since they are themselves in need of allies. Money has a problem, since there are no safe investments anymore with interests above inflation. So money needs allies.
And art has a problem, since money is invested mostly in established art, not in young artists, they are starving. This is a problem, since art is not done by famous dead artists, but only by young ones, who need to eat. So art needs allies.
Reuniting the different fields of human culture, inserting physics into the humanities, sounds romantic. But quite objectively it is simply necessary from a rational point of view.

And it is fun: me, the physicist, talking to the guys in the bank for months, learning their way of thinking, how they work, who they are, explaining the Linear Mirror system, answering questions, finding a common language, a common thought, a common solution - it was exhausting, but it was also fun. It was one of the most interesting things I have ever done.
So we have now a contract with an important Italian bank, “convenzione” in Italian. This convenzione says, that anybody, who wants to buy a Linear Mirror II system, but has no money to put down, can go to the bank and refer to the convention it has made with Isomorph. This can be done by anybody everywhere in Italy. The bank will give 100% of the money for buying a Linear Mirror II device. The client will pay back this money first from the public incentive (“conto termico” for instance), and then with the money he saves on energy – for 3 to 5 years, depending on the clients situation, he will pay 800 Euro not to Gasprom or to Saudi Arabia, but to the bank. After this 3 to 5 years, he will have an effective interest of about 20% on the investment. Without ever having done an investment. And without risk.
Michelangelo was talking a lot with the Medici, so we are back in Renaissance here. But most likely, they talked only about what Michelangelo was doing, not about what Lorenzo de Medici was doing. So going through Renaissance, we have gone beyond.
One might argue, that Michelangelo was an artist, not a physicist. But that does not mean, that our reference to renaissance is wrong, it rather means, that we need to complete it. With artists:

The young international artist Elena Mazzi started working on the Linear Mirror II three years ago (www.elenamazzi.com ). In a first step, her work was supported by the foundation Bevilacqua la Masa at Venice for the duration of one year ( http://www.bevilacqualamasa.it/atelier-elena-mazzi ). The foundation gave Elena an atelier in the center of Venice, where she could work on her project “reflecting Venice”. She used the Linear Mirror as an interface, connecting local reality, history, and options for the future:
Venice for centuries was at the top of technology, art and commerce. She was able to produce and launch a ship of war within a few days, the construction of Venice itself in the sea is a technical masterpiece, they were world leaders in the fabrication of glass, and glass products, like mirrors. These traditions have died. Industry is close to extinction since there is no innovation, and the natural environment, which once had defined Venice, now is in danger. Elenas project was, to “reflect” this situation with the Linear Mirror:
For Elena's project, the reflecting surfaces of a Linear Mirror II system are made from venetian class instead of aluminum. One of the few surviving artisans at Murano engraves these mirrors in the historical venetian technique with pictures of plants, with those plants, which are in decline in the lagoon of Venice – becoming pictures of the decline of Venice itself, which had its heydays as spouse of the sea (as formalized in the “sposalizio del mare” - marriage of the sea ceremony), as spouse of its natural environment, and is now in decline, together with its natural environment.

Marriage of the Sea ceremony (wikipedia)

A Linear Mirror, equipped with these engraved glass mirrors was to be installed at some commercial location at Venice, providing energy for the contemporary world, like for a hotel, or some company, or a restaurant. This location could furthermore have been a connection to the future, since the production of the Linear Mirror itself would be very well suited for Venice: the production of the Linear Mirror is a quiet industry, without much energy consumption, noise, pollution or other hazards, it could operate well in Venice, as a new branch of the dying historical glass industry.
Isomorph wanted to sponsor this project, by offering Elena a mirror for free.

Now a strange thing happened: The Linear Mirror with its engravings and references was supposed to passively reflect the past and present, and also some future opportunities. But maybe because it did this so well and so real, the passive process of reflection became an active one. The mirror began to reflect things, which it was not supposed to reflect, making these things happen on its own device, as if it were alive:

It turned out, that nobody at Venice wanted to have Elena's mirror, not even for free. Elena tried for more than one year to convince some company or hotel or restaurant or association to install a free mirror for producing 800 Euros of income each year. But nobody wanted that.
So the mirror did not only passively reflect on the decline of Venice, but interacting with its social environment it uncovered, made explicit and explained the reason for this decay.
And this is not the end of the story. The Botkyrka Konsthall got knowledge of Elena's project, and decided to support it (http://botkyrkakonsthall.se/?lang=en ). They will finance Elena's work and show it during the Biennale of Architecture at Venice in June (2014). And after the Biennale they will take Elena's mirror back with them to Stockholm, were it will heat their museum. “We are working to make Botkyrka Konsthall a model example of how art can function as a catalyst for the revitalization of a city.” We are not alone.

These are good news, and they may serve to balance the bad news, which also arrived:
an expert commission of the German government has studied the effects of past German politics on environment (http://www.e-fi.de/mitglieder.html ) and it has concluded:
>> The Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) is one of the key instruments of German climate and energy policy. Yet, with the European emissions trading system (EU ETS) in place, which defines a fixed ceiling for CO2 emissions across European energy-inten- sive industries, the EEG does not lead to more climate protection, but merely induces additional cost. Since the argument of climate protection does not qualify, the question arises whether the EEG does at least stimulate innovation. However, empirical studies do not find a measurable impact of the EEG on innovation. In the view of the Expert Commission, a continuation of the EEG can therefore not be justified by appealing to climate protection or positive innovation effects. << ( http://www.e-fi.de/fileadmin/Gutachten_2014/EFI_Kurzfassung_Englisch_2014.pdf ) That means, that more than 20 billions alone in 2013 have been spent for nothing.

While working with bankers and artists, we also continue to push technical progress. We are preparing a new and improved experiment on solar pyrolysis. Our new device will have a higher power and a more uniform pyrolysis reaction. We want to learn from this experiment how to design an industrial device. The pyrolysis of biomass is easy, the problem is in its industrialization.
The development of solar pyrolysis is not only worth the effort, but is absolutely necessary. To the best of my knowledge it is the only way of storing solar energy for long periods of time (in the form of solar gas and solar carbon) and it is the only way of using solar energy by means of existing technologies (like conventional power plants and conventional combustion engines) and infrastructures. Which amounts to saying, that solar pyrolysis is the only way for a transition to a solar society without the huge investments, which are necessary with conventional techniques. It is the only way of basing society on solar energy without condemning the next generation of human beings to poverty.