Puzzle #5

This one is compliments of Mark Solis < M-A-SOLIS@worldnet.att.net >. I haven't had time to try it myself, but I thought that some of you out there with more free time than myself might like to try it.
Here's a puzzle for you. I call this my "Black Box" test. I use it to check for mental blocks in highly educated technical types. If I were a graduate advisor, this would be the final exam for thermodynamics-related studies. It is PASS- FAIL.

Before you is a black box. You know nothing about the box, except the following:
For every joule of energy you put in, you get ten joules out. Put in ten joules, you get a hundred; put in a thousand joules, you get ten thousand; and so on. Moreover, the power output is ten times the power input (rate information; ten watts in, a hundred watts out, etc.).
Given the first and second laws of thermodynamics, what can you tell me about the black box?


For your information:

The people who most often FAIL this test are physicists with PhD degrees and years of experience and tenure.

The people who most often PASS this test are first- or second-year physics or engineering students.

There have been few exceptions to the former case, and none to the latter.

I am the author and originator of this puzzle. Its creation stems from my numerous encounters with stiff resistance to the notion of "free energy devices."

Let me know your solution! (There IS one, you know....)

Think you know the answer? Don't send me your solution, because I don't want anyone to spoil it for me. I will find some free time someday, I am sure of it! :-)

Send it to Mark instead.

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