A Potential Source of Clean, Limitless Energy

So graphene is a single atomic plane of
graphite. We’ve been studying a lot of different properties of graphene, and at
one point we decided to make it freestanding. We figured out what was
happening is the the membrane is kind of shaking around—the atoms are shaking
around and vibrating, but then every now and then this local (it’s a convex
section of the of the membrane) would flip its curvature over and become
concave. If we place a charge on that ripple and it moves suddenly near a
grounded conducting electrode, charge will flow in that conducting electrode
to basically to screen the charge that’s moving toward it. If we had another
electrode above it when it flipped back then the charge would flow in a
circuit up to this thing here. The size of the samples that we look at are
10 microns by 10 microns, which is pretty small because about 20,000 of those
could fit on the head of a pin. But one of these 10 micron by 10 micron areas
could produce 10 microwatts of power, continuously. So, wouldn’t that be great
if you had this powering your watch, for example, you would never have
to replace the batteries. You know I like to think about, the possibility of anyhow,
some people have pacemakers or mechanical devices as bio implants, and
if you could have a power source that you didn’t have to replace the battery
for. You know it’s basically a battery alternative, I guess that’s the key thing.
If you could have a battery alternative that you didn’t have to go and replace
it, imagine all the things you could do.

100 thoughts on “A Potential Source of Clean, Limitless Energy

  • Technology for limitless unpolluting energy shall be humankind's natural entitlement -an antithesis to humankind's legacy which is atmospheric CO2 load and global warming. The UN should hold a special session to adopt a GI registration in the name of the entire humankind and no disruptive trade in the name of such technology should be allowed

  • Right outta the mouths of babes! I thought the 'word' science was a study of………….!  Now any time a new study comes up most people want to fall back into what they have studied and I think they take for granted and the holly grail that , that is it!  Nothing ever changes!   WRONG!  Take a time line for example with + or  – effect , it always changes!  Scientist can only predict what can happen and can only do it at that pacific time then it could change in the next moment!  I think we all can name 100 or scientist or great inventors! But I don't think any of them would say,   WELL THATS IT NOTHING MORE TO ADD HERE!  If they did then they are wrong! The true meaning of everything is not always the end!  😉

  • Convection always vary nothing is perfectly still unless at absolute 0 thus fluctuations at nano scale are plausible due to micro fluctuations we cannot easily measure yet they are there. Now to combine small structures to a larger collector and you have room temperature energy production. No laws broken.

  • EVERYONE — Quality of presentation, peer reviews, etc etc etc.  The point is;  Truth is stranger than fiction because truth does not have to make sense.

  • If it is heat that causes the atoms to vibrate and the vibration generates electron flow and graphene is the best known conductor of heat. He could be on to something.

  • I love all the comments about how this is impossible while they listen to a guy that has actually done something. Silly humans. BTW, man's 'laws' are not really laws at all, but are simply observations taken during a given set of circumstances. Most people forget that everything is vibrating at the atomic level… Perhaps they don't realize that this vibration could have a resonant frequency? And they must have also forgotten that the amount of power required to sustain a resonance goes down at the resonant point. And these same people fail to explain how atoms continue to spin around a nucleus with no apparent power applied to them. Free Energy? It's there. We just have to remove the blinders from our eyes. The biggest blinders being the physics that is being taught in schools. It's only part of the story.

  • If this worked you would be producing energy while at the same time increasing the temperature difference between the graphene and the ambient envionment. The only way I could see this working under understood physics is if the graphene's fluctuations are not caused be heat but are caused by the graphene reacting to localized fluctuations in the surrounding electromagnetic field that are caused by ambient photons. It would be kind of like a (very) broad spectrum solar cell. There are easy ways to test this. Try the apparatus under different temperatures to see if ambient heat really does play a role. Try it in a vacuum chamber. Try it in a EM suppressing envionment like a (really good) faraday cage.

  • Something for nothing? What does thermodynamics say about this? At the very least, it must be incredibly inefficient

  • Clickbait title. Looks like kinetic energy conversion to either AC or pulsed DC, not "limitless energy". Eventually the components would break down. But you could make some very long lasting low power devices, seems simple enough.

  • Wow. This really could be a breakthrough. If you put millions of these in series, in sync, (somehow) could you get 12v DC or higher? Also this seems to me like this could generate AC (somehow).

  • These people making comments don't know anything. I coated an ordinary piece of foil with Graphene and fashioned it into a small conical hat. After extensive testing I find that it not only produces extra energy, but has turned me into a Bernie "I took my honeymoon in Moscow" Sanders supporter. I now am starting to think we can all get something for FREE. My next research will be conducted on how to get a spouse off the hook in a criminal investigation.

  • Wait wait wait, what? What is the energy source? Vibrations? So… is it temperature? What is causing the gradient then? Or is it like those old clocks that wind themselves when you walk? No matter the case, you can't leave it at "an alternative to battery which never has to be recharged" because this is the internet and there is such a thing called "perpetual motion machines believers" that will make a day out of this. This is a science outreach video from the university of Arkansa, so you guys have to be more diligent with what is said. Look at your comments section!

    This is not limitless energy!

  • Just as the charged graphenes random buckling inferences a charge in the capacitor plates, randomly fluctuating charge in those plates makes the graphene buckling. That is called themal equilibrium. And one can extract zero power form it. (Look up feynman ratchet.) Either this professor misses to mention a thermal gradient (which would be bad enough) or he currently does not deserve his degree.

  • Working on a similar project, using flake graphite and an experimental electrolyte. Finding same unusual results… Getting AC and DC readings, as well as the self charging effect. My company is Magic Innovations Inc, check us out.

  • There is a lot of sound energy out there and i am sure the vibrations penetrate deep into the body and into other things

  • I was reading the comments… Sure, law of thermodynamics…
    Some things do not make a lot of sense here.
    first just touching one electrode and then the other does NOT generate energy or transfer charge other than the one
    that already was there, try it with a piece of tin foil (not on head) and 2 wires.
    Second, if it vibrates there is a REASON it vibrates.
    So, to eliminate things as obvious as airflow (kW power windmills are cheap and reliable) I HOPE the professor
    also did the test in vacuum, and did other obvious checks to eliminate systemic errors.

    As to the the new free energy source and 100% better battery invented every few weeks, the local shop still does not have it.

  • Very interesting i read that samsung are using this material in there batteries…. fully charged in 15mins .. last 3 times longer than current batteries

  • Ten millionths of a watt does not sound to me like "Limitless Energy", It sounds more like the amount of energy you would get out of a thermocouple. I suspect that this graphene device is just another kind of thermocouple. It doesn't violate the laws of physics, but it also doesn't produce very much power,

  • Hmm… But what you're suggesting is more or less a perpetual motion generator, which is contrary to the law of thermodynamics. I don't think you can just make Unlimited energy out of nothing… And have it just perpetually there. That which gets consumed, must be replenished… And (so far) you can't just take energy out of the air.

  • This is a perpetual motion machine of the second kind. Admittedly, the Second Law of thermodynamics is merely a generalization based on what we observe in the world around us, There is nothing about the law that makes it impossible for some assemblage to violate it, most gadgets never studied law. But for proposed perpetual motion machines of the first or second kind, you can usually identify the loss mechanisms that prevent you from having any net gain in the machines. It's a matter of semantics, but I hate it whenever someone asserts that nothing can violate the first or second laws. The fact that nothing violates the laws doesn't mean the laws are some sort of a barrier that is inherently absolute. If we observe a violation of the laws, we would do well to doubt our result initially, but once verified, we would have to rewrite the law to reflect the exception we've found.

    The first law states that Mass/Energy cannot be created or destroyed, yet mass falling into a black hole would seem an exception to the First Law. Virtual particles and the quantum level are also an exception. Rather than say that virtual particles or black holes can't exist because they would violate the First Law of Thermodynamics, we should instead refine our expression of the 1st Law to accommodate reality.

    This graphene device would harvest ambient thermal energy, cooling the device while outputting electricity. This is a new spin on an old idea. For any resistor, there is a noise voltage the amplitude of which it determined by temperature according to Boltzmann's constant. That noise is the hiss you hear from a high gain audio circuit. If it were possible to rectify this voltage, one could, for instance, power a submarine through the water. The sub would extract energy from the water by exhausting cold water. Then the friction of the vessel's movement through the water would reheat the water. The sub would get around for free without affecting the ocean thermally.

    By adding graphene to the system, this guy is only adding fog to an old idea. Here is the foremost law of perpetual motion machines:

    "The only requirement for a given perpetual motion machine to be feasible, the cause and effect within the machine must be beyond the comprehension of the inventor, or that of the investors… "

    I'm betting this guy is going for the latter

  • There's nothing special about this. It isn't a perpetual motion machine or battery. It simply harvests a small amount of energy from thermal and vibrational variations of the surrounding environment that are big enough to harvest. There are many devices that can do this by various means. Small amounts of energy can be harvested from wifi signals, for example. None of these devices produce very much energy and none of them can be scaled up because the amount of energy available to harvest is tiny and not really based on receptor volume. The energy involved here is not coming from the quantum vacuum, but travels to the receptor through the air (like a wave), so the amount you can harvest is more a function of an intersection from the source and not a function of volume. In fact, simple pendulum winders found in watches that harvest a little bit of energy from your normal arm motion generate far, far more energy than this device ever could.

    In this particular case, the more charge associated with the sheet of graphene, the less mobility it will have. To act as a battery the graphene needs to be able to pump charge, which basically means bringing together objects with the same charge. That requires something doing work… the work is harvested from the environment, but the environment must contain sufficient differentials in what is being harvested to generate enough of a voltage differential to be useful and that's really the limiting factor here.


  • How much energy goes for cooling the electrodes? Alternatively, one needs temperature difference. Otherwise authors wouldn't be making YouTube videos, they would be taking to the Nobel committee 😀

  • Build a atomic scale motor and bearing, oscillate it to cover more volume, add a Maxwell Demon, and close the system so we cannot observe it. Will this result in what you are looking for?

  • Graphene is the new SNAKE OIL. Everybody makes extravagant claims on what it can do, ignoring the actual properties. The example here, is a simple mechanical capacitor that has been is use for decades as a microphone!

    Ambient heat?? ambient electromagnetic waves?? WHAT??
    And if he cant give us a straight answer, he should be fired from the university.

  • Without looking into the research much, the energy it seems comes from the charge they add to the graphene. From what I know about graphene is that it shouldn't be possible because of how atoms are (so far known) to stack. What happens is a single atom flips and changes place with another causing the 2d sheet to act like a 3d shape. If, I'm wrong and they don't use a charge added to the sheet, this would be harnessing atomic weak force. For whatever reason the carbon moves, it's a chemical reaction within the synthesized molecule of carbon sheet graphene. Not thermal.


  • Ten microwatts is almost nothing . An AAA cell is 2 watts, the AAA cell is 20,000,000 times more powerful. It is ridiculous to think graphene could replace batteries at this level of technology.

  • Before any one pukes out limitations of thermodynamics, he is a physics professor for gods sake, He sure has taken into account all its limitations. He hasnt for once mentioned the term limitless, its the title thats misleading.
    About electromagnetism, that video is wrong, thats not how electricity generates.
    First, the membrane has to vibrate and will only vibrate if there is noticeable temperature gradients, Perhaps only on sheaths of heat emitting devuces like car engines, which again stupid becuase it requires another engine. In an open air, nomatter how hot or cold the weather is it will equilibriate and cannot vibrate for long.
    Second , since its the rate of change of flux that induces electromagnetism, it should vibrate in accelerated manner with actual angular acceleration. constant angular momentum would do much.
    Third, if the electric potential is that strong to generate such flux, i am doubting its stability as a sheet. it would wrap upon itself, or immediately attract foreign particles destabilising such structure…

  • How does Paul Thibado account for losses within the circuit (eddy currents, friction, heat and light generation, etc.)? Also, where does the charge on the graphene come from, and how is it maintained?

    The simplified illustration seems to be a variation on a capacitive circuit. So it is not indefinitely sustainable as shown, but rather a modern example of the "perpetual motion machine" fallacy. Since this is an extremely short video, I presume that we are missing a great deal of information.

    Unfortunately, that lack of information is what makes this video non-credible. The basic argument is 'I have a source of limitless energy'; however, the use of a capacitive circuit with a light emitting load violates a primary law of physics — Energy cannot be created or destroyed. Additionally, there is no evidence to show where the continuous flow of energy into the circuit comes from. Finally, we have the perpetual motion fallacy as our only example. As a result, this video's poor presentation is a failure as it stands, diminishing the reputation of the University of Arkansas.

    I would most sincerely like to see this video revised to properly address the perpetual motion fallacy by providing a better model that accounts for the losses and shows where the initial energy comes from.

  • Science is fake you have laws yet like any law its there to be broken by a universal law called hidden scince they dont want you to know .

  • So where does the energy come from to flip the graphene? Ambient heat? To our knowledge mass/energy must be conserved, therefore it cannot simply vibrate into eternity without something to power it.

    Maybe a better solution is beta voltaic cells, essentially a small sample of beta emitter like radioactive tritium and a modified solar cell that produce constant small amounts of power, though it does decay away but not before the thing it's powering needs replacing.

  • No reason why you can't suck energy off what could originate as quantum fluctuations. Remember: Once the universe had zero energy.

  • Isn't this essentially an ambient heat engine? Heat is vi rating molecules. Converting the kinetic energy of vibrating molecules to current should mean a loss of heat.

  • Some mighty big holes in his explanation. For instance, where does this energy come from? Does he understand basic thermodynamics?

  • Soooooo thankful for that WONDERFUL NEWS!!! Some of these comments are hilarious…similar to how historically the idiotic "realists" would supposedly say graphene was not possible…and here is graphene. NOW IS IDEALISM. WAKE UP!!! ALL "realists" MUST admit defeat!!!!!

  • So you guys realize that you are now under surveillance and you will be visited, while alone, and either blackmailed or beaten to death…haven't you been paying attention? You guys are toast !

  • This is legit guys, look what super caps and inductance do.

    That was in 2016. This guy has taken the technology much further.

  • Technical issues.

    Charge Isolation: I.e. charging the graphene and preventing charge leakage to either the electrodes or the environment, either of which would result in the graphene power cell being useless.

  • Exciting stuff. University of Arkansas should team up with the UbiQD team from New Mexico thats really pushing some new exciting quantum dot technology. Graphene and Quantom Dots could be sweet…

  • Should that not be "Another Potential Source of Clean, Limitless Energy"? Anyone takin side bets they have superconductivity and cooling associated with the process?

  • In the description -> "…temperature changes caused by ambient heat makes graphene ripple and buckle." Harvesting energy fluxes is what we do. This just seems to be another way to take advantage of that flux. It isn't "free" energy.

  • This flipping is probably caused by something other than just random movement. This is graphene, one atom thick, so I’m guessing the movement is coming from thermal energy causing the stuff to move. This isn’t an infinite energy machine, this is a very small thermal generator.

  • FYI, atoms do violate physical laws on many occasions. The entire purpose of research and development of nanotechnology is to harness and take advantage of attributes that normally are not allowed at molecular levels.

  • You'd been to have each set of copper "plates" interconnected with just those whose graphene wires were in sync to make this a practical power source. Without graphene "wires" moving synchromously as a group, the outputs would cancel out.

  • If this is powered by ambient heat (or body heat), that’s cool and all but it’s not “limitless energy”. Also if we’re talking about Brownian motion here shouldn’t the randomness cancel out and produce nothing on average?

  • But elon musk too busy shooting pollution rot combustion making people cry and thunderfoot too busy not believing in greater energy density than lithium ion LOL even though graphene batteries are the best and human calories are way more powerful than lithium ion

  • Did I just observe a physicist pimp zero-point energy?
    OK, let us ignore every facet of physics as we know it and go with that…… :/

  • Makes me think of Piezoelectricity, Solid State Batteries, and Nuclear Fusion. @1:15 Oh those are the applications. Yeah now I think it is a lot like a better way of getting something low powered working all the time which makes it similar to piezoelectricity. I would like to see a commercial watch in the near future with this and maybe some clothes with imbedded sensors with this.

  • Why are people so mad in the comments? If it turns out to be nothing then so be it. People are acting like priest from the church of thermodynamics and demanding an inquisition. Calm down. Literally every major scientific achievement was made despite the majority of the "educated elite" saying it was impossible. Don't be that guy.

  • They should be ashamed for not explaining it further, just putting some shit out there. University Of Arkansas Get Your Shit Right..Stop talking crap

  • Infinite energy machine? How efficient is it? How much energy is used across the graphene versus energy output of the system?

  • Just make a few million of these, wire them together, and then float them on the surface of the ocean for constant movement. World energy problems solved? 🙂

  • Why would the school punish students physically for being annoying to another student that makes no sense to me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJaM8IOev7E

  • Yea… I'll believe it when they un-redact the edited portions of this film — to prove he was really making those claims — and turn over the math. The forces involved only act on very small scales, so this isn't something where the graphene sheet can simply scale up in size. It's a case of the inverse square law; increasing the surface area decreases the probability exponentially. You move more electrons, but far less often.

    One area this may actually be viable is as a cryo-cooler.

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