## Perpetual Motion

Perpetual motion is the dream of free energy. The idea is that these machines never run down (violating The Second Law of Thermodynamics) and even can do work (violating the Law of Conservation of Energy). Those two laws are the most heavily tested and verified laws in science. People actually invent machines like these that you see here, in the hopes of getting rich, and generating unlimited free energy. They may indeed get rich, if they can find gullible investors. On the left are my versions of some classic perpetual motion machines.

1. We see a five footed object that will not stay balanced on a foot, it tends to roll to the left, where it will stand momentarily on the next foot, and then roll to the left, etc. Wanna bet?
2. The second one is called an overbalanced wheel. There is a weight at the end of each hinged arm. We see that there are four weights (and a little more) on the right side of the wheel, and only two on the left side. So it turns clockwise. Other people claim that it turns counter-clockwise. Is the wheel really overbalanced?
3. The next one is a pendulum with a magnet on the end. The magnet is attracted to magnets on each side. And metallic, magnetic barriers alternately block and unblock the magnetic fields. Where can I buy some good magnetic barriers?
4. This one is another overbalanced wheel. In this case round weights roll in their slots. It is easy to show that the situation shown is unstable, and the wheel will rotate clockwise. Really?
5. Next, we see another magnetic device. The magnet at the left pulls the ball bearing up the inclined plane. The ball then falls through a hole and reemerges at the bottom, and goes back up the inclined plane. Folks, that doesn't make sense.
6. The last one is a simple free energy idea (similar to many free energy ideas advertised on the Internet). A motor turns a generator, which turns the motor, etc.

I had a lot of fun reinventing and drawing these. None of them works, by the way.

7. I've been working on the one on the upper right all day. I have marbles, chutes, pulleys, and conveyor belts. The weight of all of those marbles has just got to lift the three marbles which are on their way up, right? What could possibly be wrong with that idea? I don't know, exactly (well, I do). But I bet it won't work.

8. Below that one is another invention of mine. It is a somewhat higher tech version of the donkey and carrot method of propulsion. We replace the donkey and carrot with two magnets which attract each other. This one may have been invented before.

The Earth going around the Sun is perpetual motion, right? Almost. It is running down (not by any measurable amount) as it runs into meteors. And it can do work as we fire rockets into space, which slows it down a little. But the earth is really huge, and will take a very long time to run down. So the Earth is pretty close to being a perpetual motion machine. The reason that I mention this is that some science books actually call the earth's orbit perpetual motion. Well, it is close, but not perfect.

9. On the right is another invention (based on the beliefs of a friend of mine). We have electrolysis of water which generates hydrogen and oxygen gasses, which we burn to turn a generator which powers the electrolysis. The byproduct of burning hydrogen (in oxygen) is water, which drips back into the original water.

Above, I said that I don't know what is wrong with my invention #7. Well, I do know what is wrong, more or less. But, I was just trying to point out that the Second Law says that it doesn't work. And that is good enough for me. When someone comes up with such a hair-brained scheme, the Second Law says it won't work. Well, that should help you discover the scam, or the flaw in the idea.

My Grandfather had a clock that was jokingly advertised as running by perpetual motion. Actually, a spring was wound by the changes in temperature between daytime and night time. The temperature in his house was actually controlled by air conditioning, which was regulated to be warmer in the day, and colder at night. And so, his clock was being powered by his air-conditioning system.