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Looking Inside The Perpetual-Motion Machine

2.) The machine must be operated inside a vacuum (no air): The reason for this has to do with the reason listed in number one. Operating the machine anywhere will cause the machine to lose energy due to the friction between the moving parts and air. Although the energy lost due to air friction is very small, remember, we are talking about perpetual motion machines here, if there is a loss mechanism, eventually, the machine will still lose its energy and run down (even if it takes a long, long time).

Looking Inside the Perpetual-Motion Machine

Jon Farrow of the Royal Institution teamed up with Tom Scott to demonstrate how to debunk perpetual motion machines by looking for the hidden power source using a few examples of so-called perpetual motion devices.

Keely demonstrated his machine to his guests, using his powers of prestidigitation to pour water into his vacuum engine and demonstrate his device. After a little bit, the engine gurgled, then rumbled, then came alive, providing a pressure of 50,000 psi to the amazed onlookers. As The New York Times wrote on June 11, 1875, the "generator" was reported to be about 3 feet in size, made of Austrian gunmetal in one piece, and held about ten or twelve gallons of water. Its inside was made up of cylindrical chambers connected by pipes and fitted with stopcocks and valves. The "receiver" or "reservoir" was about forty inches long by six inches in diameter and connected to the "generator" by a one inch diameter pipe. Keely claimed that his apparatus would generate his "vapor" from water solely by mechanical means without using any chemicals and claimed that it could produce 2,000 psi in five seconds.

2. The machine must operate inside a vacuum, i.e. no air - Air, like other moving parts, will rub on the moving machine, creating friction, which results in a small but important loss of energy from the machine. Over time, even if this were the only friction, the machine would lose all of its kinetic energy from this friction. This would take a long time, but the machine would grind to a halt long before the end of days.

"My grandfather made my perpetual motion machine over a hundred years ago," said Russell Fohn while running his hand over the smooth walnut surface of the strange looking machine handed down in his family. "According to family legend, it ran for forty-eight hours without stopping. Before he died, my grandfather told his children how to finish the machine, but they never did because they were superstitious. It was said that if a person finished the machine, that person would die. Granddad took the secret to the grave with him. When I was a little boy, I would hear them talking about it."

Although Russell's machine does not work, one cannot help but admire its beauty and craftmanship. Part of the fascination is looking at the machine and speculating how it might work after hearing the bit of folklore that Russell Fohn knows about it.

Whole-culture or batch synchronization cannot, in theory, produce a synchronized culture because it violates a fundamental law that proposes that no batch treatment can alter the cell-age order of a culture. In analogy with the history of perpetual-motion machines, it is suggested that the study of these whole-culture 'synchronization' methods might lead to an understanding of general biological principles even though these methods cannot be used to study the normal cell cycle.

What if we could create a machine that creates - not uses up - energy? Well, it's already been invented, and it works like this. Imagine a simple wooden wheel with coin-holder slots inside. As the wheel turns, the coins fall to the bottom of the slots to ensure that one side of the wheel is always heavier. This means the wheel would never stop turning, ever, and it does so without the need for any external power sources or even need a little push to start it up. If we scale this up, we could have fields of giant windmill-like structures that don't even need the wind to create power. Incredible, right?

Human nature stays constant enough that it's easy to answer this one. Yes, someone will build a perpetual-motion machine in the next few years. Or, more likely, dozens of perpetual-motion machines, as starry-eyed inventors have been doing since medieval times. Not a single one will work, but they'll keep trying. Nothing is more seductive, after all, than the idea of a free lunch.

Source: The Toronto Star via Gizmodo Citation:Inventor Doesn't Dare Say 'Perpetual Motion Machine' (2008, February 7)retrieved 29 March 2023from -02-inventor-doesnt-perpetual-motion-machine.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further 041b061a72


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