In particular, William Thomson (Kelvin) appeared to be wrong about key things in physics (initially X-rays, aether, even aviation feasibility).
Are there any theories that contradict the idea that a heat differential must exist in order to convert heat energy to another form (causative) vs a heat differential being a secondary effect? I have seen some discussion about the potential for room-temperature thermionics (and whether or not that by definition relies on a heat differential to function?) jap.aip.org/resource/1/japiau/v94/i7/p4690_s1
If such a device existed to convert heat without a 'classical' heat differential being a primary causative of the conversion, what implications would it have for irreversibility?
How does a purely homogeneous heat / kinetic energy pool in the classical sense behave when considering different atoms / elements with the same kinetic energy at the atomic level? Is it possible that different elements can never truly have the same kinetic energy in such a case, causing a situation where an exploitation can be found to do the conversion of energy? One hypothesis could be that heterogeneous atomic mixtures is the true cause of brownian motion (unless this has been proven to not be the case). In other words, is it not the case that homogeneous bulk matters behave predictably at any given kinetic energy level (heat)? This would have implications for the brownian ratchet being based on randomness, when in fact physical matter could potentially be biased to a predictable movement (even if only in a very confined system, i.e. nano-scale), where possibly extremely small kinetic differences can be engineered and exploited to generate electricity (or mechanical movement useful for work) from a single reservoir of heat, disproving the Kelvin statement.