Perpetual Motion Machines


Perpetual Motion is the kind of movement that continues without any energy supply from external sources. Nevertheless, it’s hard to determine any motion as completely perpetual. The word perpetual signifies ‘indefinite and uninterrupted’. Hence, a perpetual motion machine can be defined as a theoretical machine that operates without absorbing power.

Perpetual Motion Machines’ Classification

Perpetual motion machines can be subdivided based on the conservation of energy laws.

– The 1st kind of machine runs and generates power without absorbing energy. Hence, it can be concluded that it violates the law stating that ‘energy can neither be created nor destroyed.

– The 2nd kind of machine transforms thermal into mechanical energy when operating. The quantity of thermal energy is equal to the quantity of mechanical energy produced

– The 3rd kind of machine rules out all forces that lead to loss of energy. If there is no energy dissipation caused by any force, it results to continual working of the machine. Nevertheless, the operation of this machine shall be limited to energy storage, and not its supply.

Let’s take into account a couple of methods in which energy can be dissipated.

No two parts should brush against each other. The components of a machine get in touch with each other during the machine operation. Hence, the parts offer resistance to one another. This is referred to as friction. In the course of friction, some energy is wasted in form of heat. This leads to reduction in the total quantity of energy. In accordance to the principle of operation of the perpetual motion machine, the quantity of energy should not change for it to operate.

The machine should not make any sound when operating. It’s clear for any machine to make sound due to the contact between various parts. Sound is some kind of energy. Hence, if a machine tends to make sound while operating, it loses energy. A machine can’t be regarded as a perpetual motion machine provided that it loses energy anytime in the course of its operation.

For the machine to be run, it ought to be positioned in a vacuum. If it’s not positioned in a vacuum, air makes contact with its parts, leading to friction / air resistance. Although the energy lost in this kind of friction is fairly low, it can’t be ignored. As we have learnt during our Physics tuition class, air resistance can be directly proportional to the square of the speed of the moving object when the object is moving at high speeds.

It’s impossible for any machine to continuously run producing kinetic energy, without absorbing any energy from external sources. This shortfall in the quantity of energy terminates the operation of the perpetual motion machine. This is why it’s not possible to create a perpetual motion machine.

None out of chemical, mechanical, or thermal energy can be utilized in making a perpetual motion machine operate. To recapitulate it all, the machine is hypothetical. Considering the fact that its operation violates the very first two thermodynamics laws, it’s extremely impossible to create it.