Thank you for visiting  

    My name is Peter D. Keefe.  By profession, I'm a patent attorney who holds a master's degree in physics; indeed, I've taught physics at the University of Detroit and currently hold an appointment as Senior Lecturer.  A life-long interest of mine has been superconductivity, and my master's thesis concerned the thermodynamics of a superconductive motor.

    No scientist (or reasonable member of the educated public) disputes the inviolability of the Laws of Nature.  There are two of these Laws which we confront continuously day-in and day-out, and never once do we see even a hint of violation: The First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics.  Philosophically stated, the First Law states that the sum of the contents of the universe is a fixed commodity, and the Second Law states a particular way in which those contents can mutually interact.  Let me be clear at the outset: this website does not advocate that any Law of Nature can be violated.  Accordingly, this website respects science as the grand enterprise that it is, disposed to open discussion and careful investigation, aimed at finding truth, and repugnant of dogma and unsupported claim.  This website firmly supports science and out-right rejects "New Age" and "pseudo-scientific" theories and postulations which fall outside the realm of science and scientific methodology.   

    I can say with certainty that no engine will ever be devised which will violate the First Law, for this is the realm of God.  As for the Second Law, can it be possible that its violation is within the realm of Man?  If collective systems alone are at our disposal, then the answer is another "certain no."  On the other hand, if somehow we could create an isolated macro-quantum state of matter that is not part of a collective system and process that macro-quantum state so that it does useful work for us, then the answer becomes an "I don't know," because the Second Law is formulated, necessarily, on a collective system basis: it cannot guide us to say a "certain yes" or a "certain no" to this purely academic question.  This website is dedicated to exploring the ramifications which would result if this question should turn out to be more than purely academic. 

    Superconductivity is a macroscopically observable quantum mechanical phenomenon.  Thermodynamics is applicable to superconductive systems because even though such systems have a quantum mechanical aspect, such systems are necessarily collective in a macroscopic sense.  Now, what if somehow a process cycle could be devised which imposed on a superconductor a uniform macro-quantum state totally isolated from a collective system?  Such a process cycle would, of course, obey the First Law.  Such a process cycle would also obey the Second Law under a reinterpretation of its traditional formulations, in that it would be capable of continuously producing useful work from the ambient heat of the surrounding air, water or land.

    At the time I wrote my master's thesis in 1974, I was of the view that superconductivity, while interesting, was a phenomenon always exhibiting itself in collective systems upon which traditional thermodynamics is necessarily applicable.  Sometime later, like a bolt of lightning that burst electrifyingly into my mind's-eye, I experienced a clear vision of how a process cycle could be made applicable to an isolated superconductor in a uniform macro-quantum state.  I endeavored tirelessly thereafter for a number of years on this process cycle, and now have a U.S. patent on that process cycle.

    The heart of my proposed process cycle is a Coherent Magneto-Caloric Effect.  "Coherent Magneto-Caloric Effect" is a term referring to a superconductive phase transition wherein a magneto-caloric effect is applied to a particle of Type I superconductor having a cross-section less than the range of coherence.  Heat movers, motors and generators utilizing a process cycle based upon the Coherent Magneto-Caloric Effect, are referred to as a "Keefengine."  Finally, the process by which heat is converted into work via a Coherent Magneto-Caloric Effect process cycle is referred to as "Thermosynthesis."

     Imagine for a moment a future world energized by Keefengines. A car is driven from New York to Los Angeles, there's no fuel gauge, no fuel tank, just a heat intake plate under the car that is cold to the touch as heat is absorbed from the air to run its electric motor. An attack submarine cruises beneath the arctic ice pack, there are no batteries, no nuclear piles, just a section of its hull is a little cooler than the icy water from which its power is drawn. A spacecraft on Mars radios data to controllers while a planar member cools below the frigid temperature of the Martian atmosphere from which heat is being absorbed. A flashlight provides a brilliant beam of light, yet there's no battery; a portion of the handle feels cool as heat from the air powers its miniature internal generator (which has no moving parts). On a hot July day, a thermostat signals a heat mover to move heat from a room to the outside; and on a cold December day the thermostat signals the heat mover to move heat from the outside into the room; the heat mover has no moving parts and the source of power to move the heat comes from the heat being moved!

    I know in your mind you are asking yourself several questions. Why am I publishing my patented technology on the web, rather than in a scientific journal?  If I have a patent issued in 1987 on this technology, why hasn't anyone taken notice of it by now?  Why haven't I written to an expert in the superconductive art to solicit his/her opinion, such as Nobel laureate Dr. John Bardeen (the principal author of the theory of superconductivity)?

    To answer the first question, yes, I've approached the refereed journals (Physical Review and Journal of Applied Physics) about my invention. Regrettably, I've been informed that they will not publish my process cycle research because their referees opine that it advocates violation of the (traditional formulation of the) Second Law, and this is impermissible ab initio.

    To answer the second question, my patent has laid, like the tomb of Tutankhamen, safe, secure, unknown and unappreciated in the Cheops-size pyramid of patents issued over the years by the Patent Office.

    To answer the third question, yes, I've discussed my invention with experts, including Dr. John Bardeen.  These reviews raise the specter of superheating effects. Superheating is an entirely reasonable and scientifically sensible possibility which I do not ignore in my proposal.  Phase transition superheating effects have been widely studied and reported in the journal literature.  It is my humble opinion that while superheating may well arise, it will not be of a magnitude sufficient to render inoperability, particularly when one considers all the many ways possible to reduce magnetic hysteresis in the phase transition of a superconductor (for example: transition temperature, plating, crystal structure, and demagnetization factor).  Indeed, the level of superheating required to cause inoperability under all circumstances would need to arise in a manner not yet reported in the journals. What, then, is this special form of superheating? I've discussed this matter with Dr. S.D. Mahanti at Michigan State University.  He is of the opinion that the reviews of Drs. Bardeen and Newhouse are superficial in nature, and that only an in depth theoretical analysis or definitive experiment can say for sure whether superheating would, in fact, prevent operability.

    A few years ago I had a meeting with the then chief patent counsel of Chrysler Corporation, Bill Coughlin, (he's now chief at Ford, and he was the patent attorney who helped me prepare my patent application back in 1982/83). I mentioned to him that over the course of the last 10 years I have become increasing encumbered by the rigors and responsibilities of my law practice -- to such an extent that I no longer have the freedom to pursue my project. He and I discussed some alternative ways to give the scientific community a chance to evaluate my invention. The concept of approaching a magazine to publish a story was one of these ways.   However, the assistant editor of Popular Science magazine told me my discovery laid "outside its editorial content."

    As a patent attorney, I was repulsed by the Joseph Newman "energy machine" scam.  As a physicist, I carefully watched as science stumbled through the "cold fusion" frenzy of the Ponds/Fleishmann farce.  As both a patent attorney and a physicist, I believe what is needed is a paradigm change forced about by open-minded scientists who can see beyond the strictures of convention.  To this end, I am endeavoring through this website to get the word out in the hopes of jump starting the scientific community on a journey toward that fantastic world of Keefengines which I sketched above.  I do this in the interest of science, and I realize that I am espousing, with no small trepidation, a view that will not be well appreciated by the scientific community.  But, have we not seen repeatedly in the past how the frontiers of science have been pushed back by those visionaries who spoke up, at first to endure ridicule, but later (all too often posthumously) to be appreciated.  So, all I ask is that you have an open, scientifically curious mind.  If, after scientific scrutiny has gone its course, and my hypothesis is found to be either Copernicanly right or Ptolemaicly wrong, so be it.

    I invite you to peruse this website as my welcome guest, to learn about, and to critically evaluate, my technology.  


    October 9, 2000 (rev. 2/15/06)


Praesumptio Pro Legitimatione

    I have presented papers on the Keefengine at several international conferences.

    A cooperative effort is currently underway to evaluate the physics of the Coherent Magneto-Calorc Effect under the auspices of Marlan O. Scully, Director of the Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering, Texas A&M University.   

    A website devoted to quantum limits to the Second Law has been established.   

    Recently published research supports operability of the Keefengine, to wit:  "Breaking the Law"  Science News, vol. 158, pg. 234, Oct. 7, 2000. 

    PDK - November 9, 2000 (rev. 6/18/03)


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