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Talk:Perpetual motion

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This free energy related article has been awarded SILVER status for quality. We like it, and you should too! See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.

Editorial notes
  • Try not to overlap material with related articles on free energy.
  • Additional specific examples required, particularly ones that don't have/deserve fuller articles.
  • Expand the concept "illusionary" perpetual motion engines such as Heron's fountain. Are there other relevant examples?
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Of course, if it consumes it's own components, it will not move perpetually. WAFI--PalMD-If it looks like a donut, eat it 14:32, 26 November 2007 (EST)

Yes, I just read that and thought the same thing.--Bobbing up 14:36, 26 November 2007 (EST)
Joe Newman came up with that one off the top of his head, apparently, to avoid being told his energy machine was a perpetual motion device. Not too many people bought it because it didn't make any sense. But then again, for technical reasons, high-voltage electric motors don't either. EVDebs 14:50, 26 November 2007 (EST)
One of the most common thinking errors made in this field is forgetting that solar energy is basically free and largely invisible/discounted. The answer to the question "Where did the energy come from?" is usually "The sun".--PalMD-If it looks like a donut, eat it 14:54, 26 November 2007 (EST)
The case of a very heavy pendulum bob, is an interesting one, Max Planck re-formulated and restricted the third law of thermodynamics soon after Walther Nernst proposed it in 1910. There may exist 'priority' of energy consevation. Momentum such as linear and angular momentum may have first priority? A heavy boat in water may be moved with less effort than a similar weight truck, there is less friction. with magnetic or air levitation even less motive force is required. So also with a motionless heavy pendulum, let's say for example, a ten tonne wrecker ball. they even come as big as 25 tonnes! Just leaning nonchalantly against it, one will observe a slight oscillation, the ten ton wrecker will 'lean back' on you periodially! in 1686 In his treatise Brevis demonstratio erroris memorabilis Cartesii ("a short demonstration of Cartesius' remarkable errors") Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz formulated the definition of potential energy as product of force by height. Mathematical analysis and actual experiment will reveal that the energy required to swing this gigantic pendulum bob, is equal(ignoring air frictional losses) to the amount of energy that would be required to lift that weight through a height which the subtended 'arc' of swing lifts the weight, normal triganomatory. Of note the angular velocity at the bottom of the swing also equals the linear achieved velocity of the same mass falling from a similar height. Leonard Euler formulated 'Euler Force' to describe the variable 'centrifugal forces' as such a pendulum oscillates through it's subtended arc of swing. This Euler Force, like Centrifugal force, is always perpendicular to the axis of rotation. At the bottom of the pendulum swing the effective 'weight' of the pendulum bob is increased by the Euler Force Component. Conversely if the subtended arc of swing is large, then say at 90 degrees of arc, the bob is momentarilly suspended weightless in mid air! So a full 180 degree subtended swing of a pendulum bob weighing ten or 25 tonnes, would impose very severe structural loading on both the suspension beam and the thrust pivot bearing! not to mention the breaking strain of the cable! Of extreme importance, is the de facto 'fact of life' observation that very little effort is required to 'maintain' a pre-swinging pendulum. Professor Walter Lewin in his now famous 'wrecker ball' demonstration at the MIT Classical Mechanics Lecture Series (also on YouTube) cautioned his startled undergraduate audience, that he had to be extremely! careful not to impart the slightest force to the large cannon ball he was letting go. his head was placed against a resiliant brick wall, and he did not want his skull crushed! The bob returned in accordance with the Laws of Consevation of Angular Momentum to within an inch of his nose! (a miss as good as a mile, phew!) The same would be perfectly true for a real wrecker ball, a slight shove and the wrecker ball could turn you into a casualty patient, if not strawberry jam! Now let's observe the beam and the pivot thrust bearing. The beam say, is a substantial steel girder, It can visibly be observed to flex with each maximum Euler Force. An intesting experiment is to incorporate a heavy goods vehicle suspension spring and shock absorber onto the pivotal thrust bearing, so that the 'axis perpendicular' Euler Forces are compressing that truck suspension mechanism at regular intervals. The wrecker ball still only requires a very gentle shove now and again, but now the shock absorber is heating up so hot it cant be touched and is in danger of exceeding it's design parameters. Vast amounts of heat are being generated for virtually no mechanical input. This experiment clearly demonstrates that just as Max Planck had to re-formulate and restrict Walther Nernst's third law of thermodynamics, the time is long overdue for the same much needed restrictions and reformulations to apply to the First Law of Thermodynamics and the resultant consevation laws as well...."How sad that so often funeral directors herald advances in scientific understanding!" Science is the most reliable map we have to guide us in our search for knowledge. Maps are of little use without signposts on the ground. "DANGER ERROR" would make one such useful signpost. (Alastair Carnegie, Chaplain, R.M.P.T.A., Visitor D.A.M.T.P Camb. 3450th Technical Training Group, 3400th Technical Training Wing, Lowry AFB. Stationed RAF Lakenheath, Feltwell & Mildenhall UK. 8th July 2008)— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
Very nice, thank you... ħumanUser talk:Human 01:28, 9 July 2008 (EDT)


Nom for silver. ТyYarrr 21:04, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

A bit more padding in the references first, perhaps. ADK...I'll bang your thumbtack! 11:03, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
If anyone can find a decent answer to the question "would Boyle's Flask work with a superfluid?" they can win an internets. ADK...I'll receive your oak! 11:12, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

How about this.[edit]

I know that this doesn't really "create" free energy but I came across this idea the other day. My neighbour has installed an Air heat pump. Basically this takes ambient air heat, extracts it, concentrates it and expels cold air.

It is claimed to produce three units of energy for every unit used. This sounds suspiciously like "too good to be true". Especially if one considers the possibility of closing the system and using the output to power the input, although there would probably be some losses in the process.

But it still sounds like the closest thing to perpetual motion that I've heard of. Again, I understand that it's "just" moving energy from one place to another and no actually "creating" it but it surprised me. Thoughts?--Weirdstuff (talk) 19:54, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

If you were to close the system, I highly doubt the output would be greater than the input. But I'm not a physicist. -- Seth Peck (talk) 20:04, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
Well, claimed three out for every one in. If that's true you'd be able to tolerate some pretty big inefficiencies. But even if it's not presently practically possible it certainly sounds plausible in theory. But it's the whole concept that I find a bit doubtful - to close to "too good to be true" as I said before.--Weirdstuff (talk) 20:10, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
You're basically talking about air conditioning in reverse. Yes, it consumes at least as much energy because the only way to "extract" heat from ambient air like that is through a compression/decompression cycle. The ratio talked about in the WP article is an efficiency ratio used for heat pumps - it's how much energy it can extract from the "hot" air per unit of electric that it consumes. That this is above 1 is obvious because otherwise the heat pump wouldn't be doing its job, and you may as well have used that electric to power a normal heater. It's not even close to perpetual motion. Scarlet A.pngssholeModerator 20:34, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
That was my feeling at first. I figured that, the best possible case, the output could only be equal to the input. But my neighbour has spent some three grand on the installation and claims it works. He also claims the same one in three out ratio. Though it's less efficient on colder days.
This is really a cheap variant of the geothermal heat pump which takes the heat from low ground as its source (as opposed to using traditional "hot" rocks).
Although they are more expensive systems to install they claim an efficiency of 3 to 6. But I'm still wondering about using the output to power the input. --Weirdstuff (talk) 10:04, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Though it's less efficient on colder days. Obviously, as it's ambient air where the energy is coming from. Scarlet A.pngnarchistModerator 11:08, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Well. Duh!--Weirdstuff (talk) 12:01, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Indeed. Scarlet A.pngpatheticModerator 12:04, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

The point I am making is that this works (or claims to work) by taking in ambient air, cooling it, and in the process obtaining more energy than that which was input as electrical energy. It is (or is claimed to be, or is sold as providing) a method for heating water at a third of the cost which it would otherwise cost.

If this is true (and I'm saying if) then it would seem to be theoretically possible to power the thing off itself and thus get something which certainly would look like a perpetual motion machine in that it would withdraw ambient energy which could be used to continuously perform work with no input other than ambient air.

I was, and still am somewhat sceptical, of this; but the product is on sale in many places (though nowhere is it suggested that it could power itself, that's my own theoretical extension.)

I have not been able to find any site on the net which claims that the product is a fake. This site for example claims that they can provide "4 times the amount of energy they consume".

If RW feels that these claims are impossible then perhaps this technology needs its own article debunking it.--Weirdstuff (talk) 18:53, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

It's analogous to saying that the energy required to transport coal from a mine to a power station is less than the output of the power station thanks to burning the coal, ergo it's like perpetual motion. The energy is derived from diabatic cooling of a unit of air. You require power to do this, and can gain more heat than you would simply by using that electricity to run a heater (you're effectively "fuelling" the system with warm air), but it's not a violation of conservation of energy and doesn't really require debunking. If anything requires debunking, it's the confusion between a heat pump's coefficient of efficiency and perpetual motion. These aren't the same thing. Scarlet A.pngtheistModerator 22:53, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
I don't remember the exact efficiency but I have one of these things installed and it works fine. -- (talk) 10:53, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Really? That's interesting. How much of an energy saving do you think you're getting?--Weirdstuff (talk) 12:24, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

An actual perpetual motion machine[edit]

The internet.

Get the right 'weird, oddball or nuts' memes therein and they will circulate round the tubes endlessly - and spawn 'new and improved memes' that are even more dingbat. (talk) 18:02, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Falldownlaugh.gif Scarlet A.pngbomination 21:55, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Sources for Mr. Gravitational-Waves-Don't-Real[edit]

Just keeping it clean on the regular page. They aren't perfect as it took only a few minutes to find them, but they're something.

Can some folks dig up some more reliable sources? Noir LeSable (talk) 19:14, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

Unlikely Theories[edit]

Originally inserted in the article, moved here by me.--ZooGuard (talk) 18:47, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

If there was ever confidence in perpetual motion, it has waned because of the number of fraudulent cases. Proving perpetual motion is now truly like winning the lottery. More than that, it is like winning all the lotteries that ever existed.

Nathan Coppedge is a hobbyist who theorizes that he does not need to discount Newtonian mechanics, but only thermodynamics.

He introduces an elaborate array of principles to defend the idea that simple perpetual motion is possible:

The Principle of Volitional Efficiency: combining an efficiency principle such as 0.5 with an advantageous principle such as 2 would result in a larger number. He calls this "volitional mathematics" [1]. The Principle of Momentum without Velocity: if an object can be tethered on a slope, there is such a thing as perpetually sustained tautness, which at least doesn't have to happen vertically, so perhaps it isn't a gravity force. The Principle of Equilibrization: two equal weights will move to equilibrize.

In addition, he provides "3 Proofs" of perpetual motion [2]: 1. Friction does not prevent motion where motion is permitted. 2. Dominoes can chain-react in a circle, wheels can turn. 3. Dominoes can chain-react using higher and higher altitudes. Energy can be created.

Collectively, these types of simple, combinatorial principles show the ultimate boundary of physical interactions.

The principle of the proofs was to demonstrate that thermodynamics was wrong. However, they do not disprove the universal function of thermodynamics on non-mechanical systems. They merely pose the possibility that interaction is of greater importance than previously thought.

Even if it is an ultimately flawed principle, it certainly contributes to the philosophy of perpetual motion. As far as physics is concerned, it remains a highly unlikely story.

  1. http://impossiblemachine.com/dynamics.html
  2. http://www.nathancoppedge.com/Perpetual_Motion.html
I don't know how exactly what is the relevance of this to the rest of the article.--ZooGuard (talk) 18:47, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm citing that the case similar to winning the lottery should be incorporated, for the sake of the scientific method. As long as proof depends on evidence, there remains a very small shadow of a doubt, which should be addressed. I'm not saying all things are possible, just that scientific theories are turned over now and then. For example, mathematics was considered very strong before Incoherence theory showed up. It's not that math is wrong, it's just that the new theory required a revision of the understanding. ---Veulm (talk) 19:17, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
How do I get this part of the article reinstated? Should I revise? Relocate? Start a new article?---Veulm (talk) 19:30, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Dont use <ref>...</ref> tags in talk pages (include the ref inline with the comment. Your proposed addition appears to be along the lines of disallowing one or more of the "laws" of thermodynamics. Good luck with that! Scream!! (talk) 19:36, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
If there is genuine contradictory evidence of any kind, this means that there could be an exception, possibly. Even if it is only a theoretical exception. For example, Maxwell's Demon is considered an

exception. Veulm (talk) 19:45, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

"IF". Maxwell's demon isn't an exception; it's a thought experiment. Sorry! Scream!! (talk) 19:58, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Not sure if this is interesting to anyone, but sorta related.--Naqoyqatsi (talk) 06:07, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Of course, if there are other universes, they could introduce energy without requiring Maxwell's Demon. And it is strange to think the energy in the sun is not in some way exponential. Veulm
Long on "if's" and so far zero proof. Science is always in flux but grounding for those changes require evidence. Theories are not thought experiments, and it's not like the main character thinks for a few hours and overturns everything science knows once a week, even though they seem to get that presentation in TV shows. Like CSI or superhero films...TV is not fully representative of reality. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 15:32, 18 April 2016 (UTC)
I did a lot of editing, but now the old article has been reinstated. Should I keep the content as it appears now?Veulm (talk) 21:03, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Don't edit things that have already been responded to. Start afresh if you must. Scream!! (talk) 21:15, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Personally I can't quite see what is going on. I there some element of the article you disagree with Veulm? What is your objective? Cheers. --Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 21:19, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
The point I'm making is that there are principles which are considered fringe science which actually work, only they haven't been used to build a perpetual motion machine yet. The theoretical importance seems significant, because science popularly is open to critical revisions. Veulm (talk) 21:33, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Ah. Then you are going to have a problem I'm afraid. We are only really interested in established tested science. If you have a "fringe" theory which you are trying to promote then I'm afraid this isn't the site for it. And you will have the same response in wikipedia. Sorry.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 21:44, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm not even sure that it's fringe science, because it involves commonly understood principles, like equilibrizing. This is not stuff that's impossible to prove. It's stuff that could be modeled on a computer, or demonstrated with common objects. Thinking of these as principles of over-unity is banal but also exceptional. I don't think it's deceptive, nor does it involve string theory or ambient energy. It's not something that's hard to think about.Veulm (talk) 21:56, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
I have a suggestion on my user Talk page: [1] Veulm (talk) 22:55, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

Citation needed?[edit]

"you could shake the device, forcing it to drop and encourage the flow to start, but that would be adding in energy to the system and defy the point of perpetual motion." has a citation needed tag in the article.

Does "shaking drips out of a nozzle is not perpetual motion" really need references? (talk) 12:49, 12 February 2017 (UTC)

I guess it probably works as sarcasm on second thought. I feel pretty dumb for raising this. (talk) 18:15, 12 February 2017 (UTC)