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Perpetual Motion Machines in Action

Updated on December 15, 2011

Model of Taccola's wheel. Deutches museum.

Villard's Wheel

Leonardo's drawings of perpetual motion wheels.

Leonardo's water-lifting study. Is it perpetual motion?

Perpetual Motion Machine

Perpetual motion machines are designed to produce unlimited energy. In other terms it runs for infinite time.

But in doing so it violates Laws of Thermodynamics. It has been classified by the law which is being violated in the machine.

A machine which is able to produce work without any energy input is the perpetual motion machine of First kind. So it violates the first law of thermodynamics. Which is basically law of conservation of energy -- In an isolated system (system separated from surroundings by adiabatic wall) energy remains constant.

A machine which is able to convert thermal energy into mechanical one spontaneously is termed as perpetual motion machine of second kind. Though it does not violate the first law, it violates the second law of thermodynamics, which is also known as law of Entropy. This kind of machine involves only one heat reservoir. Excess heat is transferred without using any heat sink. In this machine heat is solely converted into work without producing any other effects (the efficiency is 100 %!) .

There is another type of perpetual motion machine. That is called perpetual motion machine of Third kind. If it is possible to eliminate frictional force and other dissipative forces completely then motion can be maintained for ever (due to inertia) and we can get this type of machine.

Some curious and genius minds tried to design a working perpetual motion machine over the centuries. Most of the designs made by them were very simple at first sight.

Take the example of Overbalanced wheel invented by Mariano di Iacopo. The idea was that the weighted rods are on hinges. So it is possible for them to remain nearby the wheel while going up and lay out while the wheel is going down. It means the right side of the wheel will have more weight always than the left side. So once the wheel starts it should run for ever.

Another familiar example is Villard’s Wheel invented by Villard de Honnecourt. It was just an modified form of overbalanced wheel. In it the wheel is with hinged hammers equally spaced.

Famous artist Leonardo The Vinci also made few designs of perpetual motion machine that includes the well known “Water Lifting Study”,

Another well known perpetual motion device is Zimara's windmill invented by Mark Anthony Zimara.

Nowadays it has been reported that perpetual motion machine of first kind is possible. But that kind of machine is not desired for the sake of environment.

So there is a hope of getting perpetual motion machines that is useful as well as eco-friendly.

Perpetual Motion Machine

Make A Perpetual Spinner

Perpetual Motion Machine can be a real thing or not?

Do you think it is possible to construct Perpetual Motion Machine?

See results


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    • profile image


      13 months ago

      Yes perpetual motion machines may defy physics but so does magnets

    • profile image

      H Goertz 

      13 months ago

      Do not want any subscription to this or any related networks.

    • profile image


      18 months ago

      If you could eliminate friction, you would not have democrats and us Canadians would not have Liberals.

    • profile image


      18 months ago

      If we could just overcome friction. What a world it would be!!

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      It's not perpetual motion, but it's cute!

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      So disappointed that so many voted that a perpetual motion machine is possible. The law of conservation of energy simply means you can't get something for nothing which is why so many have tried and failed to design one.

    • Scott McMillan profile image

      Scott McMillan 

      2 years ago from Ripon, WI

      True perpetual motion would have to start and run all on it's own. The closest I have seen so far is what is called an "Atmos" clock. It runs just off the changes in barometric pressure. If not tinkered with I have seen them run many years without stopping. What stops this from being perpetual is the fact you have to start the pendulum rotation. You have now exerted an outside source of energy, even if it was just to start it.


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