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Author Topic: Can you build a perpetual motion machine using repulsive magnetism?  (Read 12634 times)

mario

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mario asked the Naked Scientists:
Hi Dr.Chris.

I came across some recent press coverage that claimed that a company based in Dublin, called 'Steorn', have created a perpetual motion machine by using repulsive magnetism, even though it violates newtons law for the conservation of energy?

Is such a machine using magnetism possible? If so what does this mean for physics, and the other sciences that are based upon Newton's Laws?
What do you think?
« Last Edit: 28/04/2008 10:35:34 by BenV »


 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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There's some guys in Cairns, Australia that have claimed the same thing a few years ago, that they have a machine running off magnets that creates perpetual energy, and they're just waiting for some investors before they introduce it to the rest of the world. Funnily enough, its not introduced to the world yet, and i'm sure there would be plenty of investors if it actually worked. One person who went to inspect it noted that it was connected to some car batteries, and asked what they were for. They replied with something like "That's just to give it a small boost every few cycles, but in between it produces more energy than it uses from the batteries." Then he asked them why they don't just use a capacitor then, and they couldn't provide an answer.

Quote
Is such a machine using magnetism possible? If so what does this mean for physics, and the other sciences that are based upon Newton\\\'s Laws?

No, it is not possible to violate the law for the conservation of energy. A common notion that people trying to build these things seem to have is that they think because a magnet can stick to say a ceiling almost indefinitely, which requires a force, then it must be creating energy for this force. But you can glue something to the ceiling too, does that mean we should be able to get infinite energy from glue?
Although there is a force holding the magnet to the ceiling, it is not doing any work, it is not transferring any energy to anything else. You can only generate power from a force that does work.
 

Offline graham.d

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It may be surprising that there have been a number of claims, that seem to appear occasionally over the years, that someone has invented a device that gives you something for nothing. This is nothing new of course, and has been going on for millennia. Amazingly this ploy seems to work, which I guess is why it continues to be employed, and people invest in it with the promise of untold wealth. They claim to violate the laws of physics but they abide by a biological law - there is one born every minute :-)
 

Offline LeeE

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Just google for "magnetic motor"
 

lyner

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It's not Newton's laws, it the Laws of thermodynamics. They are inviolable. Never put your money into perpetual motion - it is not even a remote possibility.
 

Offline ozirock

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Hi I don't think think It's possible but newbielink:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcy0tedYBMg [nonactive] is a video of an attempt. I intend to recreate this and put the evidence on my magicalmachines website but I haven't found the right magnets yet. Let me know what you think, I personally think the video is being played backwards
 

lyner

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When will people begin to realise that Force is not the same as Energy? It is the real clue for distinguishing viable systems from nonsense.
If I had a pound for every person who has been duped because they couldn't distinguish one from the other. . . . .
 

Offline syhprum

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All you need is some gravity shielding materiel but this would have to be rather thick due to the low mass of Gravitons.
 

Offline LeeE

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When will people begin to realise that Force is not the same as Energy? It is the real clue for distinguishing viable systems from nonsense.
If I had a pound for every person who has been duped because they couldn't distinguish one from the other. . . . .

This is a very good point and has made me realise that something I said in another thread about space being able to store energy as a result of gravitational curvature is wrong.

Ta.
 

lyner

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All you need is some gravity shielding materiel but this would have to be rather thick due to the low mass of Gravitons.
I went to B&Q today and they were 'fresh out'.
The Energy needed to interpose such a material would have to be limitless if it were to work for 'anything'.
I think that sort of demonstrates that it's a no no (as originally proposed). Possibly for some prearranged mass. . .

 

Offline Vern

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I spent the better part of a year trying to convince a neighbor that a magnet motor he wanted me to design for him could not possibly work. I don't think I ever convinced him. He worked in a junk yard and operated a magnetic junk crane and thought he could just turn the magnet on and off.

Of course the crane used a powerful electromagnet. 
 

lyner

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I despair, sometimes.
 

Offline syhprum

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I think we should be careful how we define perpetual motion plenty of things display perpetual motion at least on a human time scale such as planets in their orbits, currents in a super conductor and the atomic particles that lead to magnetism.
But what would be inventors want is a device that will continuously output power while driving itself which of course cannot be done
 

lyner

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I agree, of course. But the lack of awareness of the difference between Force and Energy is constantly leading to the same daft question which shows a fundamental belief in the possibility of free energy. I think the planetary and superconducting examples are only appreciated for what they are by the 'informed' reader.
 

Offline Karsten

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The United States Patent and Trademark office requires a "working" model for any perpetual motion related patent application (but not for anything else). I guess they were tired of the never ending flood of perpetual motion inventions. Since they began this I am certain there have been no (zero) applications for such a thing. Smart move.
 

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