Perpetual motion

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Perpetual motion

The expression perpetual motion, or perpetuum mobile, arose historically in connection with the quest for a mechanism which, once set in motion, would continue to do useful work without an external source of energy or which would produce more energy than it absorbed in a cycle of operation. This type of motion, now called perpetual motion of the first kind, involves only one of the three distinct concepts presently associated with the idea of perpetual motion.

Perpetual motion of the first kind refers to a mechanism whose efficiency exceeds 100%. Clearly such a mechanism violates the now firmly established principle of conservation of energy, in particular that statement of the principle of conservation of energy embodied in the first law of thermodynamics. (Indeed, the first law of thermodynamics is sometimes stated as “A perpetuum mobile of the first kind cannot exist.”). See Conservation of energy

Perpetual motion of the second kind refers to a device that extracts heat from a source and then converts this heat completely into other forms of energy, a process which satisfies the principle of conservation of energy. A dramatic scheme of this type would be an ocean liner, which extracts heat from the nearly limitless oceanic source and then uses this heat for propulsion. This type of perpetual motion is, however, precluded by the second law of thermodynamics which is sometimes stated as “A perpetuum mobile of the second kind cannot exist.”

The third type of perpetual motion is, in contrast to the two types described above wherein useful output was the goal, merely a device which can continue moving forever. It could result in actual systems if all mechanisms by which energy is dissipated could be eliminated. Since experience indicates that dissipative effects in mechanical systems can be reduced, by lubrication in the case of friction, for example, but not eliminated, mechanical perpetual motion of the third kind can be approximated but never achieved. An example of a genuine case of this kind occurs in a superconductor. If a direct current is caused to flow in a superconducting ring, this current will continue to flow undiminished in time without application of any external force. See Superconductivity, Thermodynamic principles

References in periodicals archive ?
Describing the effects of gravity using a gravitational constant and violating the conservation of momentum and energy described by the Schwarzschild metric can hypothetically result in black holes that act as perpetual motion machines able to produce an unlimited amount of energy.
A well known schema (Wikipedia, 2009) from the class perpetual motion machine of the first kind (it produces energy from nothing) is the "Overbalanced Wheel" (figure 1).
Perpetual motion at its purest, perverse subtraction and addition, deprived of any apparent agency or metaphor through which to filter the viewer response, this profusion of home deco supplies and modernist utopian inferences is only faintly reminiscent of those "urban paths of decay and regeneration" to which the press release alludes.
As a result perpetual motion has been dumped in the scientific world's out-tray for discarded ideas, along with such as the Philosopher's Stone.
You get quick, slick passing, with the ball and players in almost perpetual motion.
Three distinct spaces that, as described by May, played on perspective, illusion, visibility and invisibility: the patterned floor extending from the bridge; the dramatically lit subterranean world beneath; and the magical inhabited space in between--all dynamically tied together by the hypnotizing effect of two lifts locked in perpetual motion.
This process is of course in perpetual motion, which is why some rules help provision for how data is migrated.
Cohn was in perpetual motion, fast-talking and fast-acting.
What was a pitifully underfunded program is now--thanks to the stare's unfortunate decision to impose a bed tax on nursing home revenue--a perpetual motion machine of ever higher reimbursements and ever higher taxes on patients who pay their own way.

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