General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

Is this a near-perpetual motion machine?

Asked by Ltryptophan (12075points) 2 months ago from iPhone

A closed system “D” shaped tubular aparatus. The curved part of the D is cylindrical, and carries a steel ball to the bottom corner. From there the ball is pulled upward through a straight channel of magnets to the top of the D where it follows the path back around.

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8 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Would the ball not just stick to the first magnet?
Besides, magnets lose their magnetism over time.

Ltryptophan's avatar

I guess the magnets demagnetize.

Ltryptophan's avatar

I ask this question, but I have a follow up…

Lightlyseared's avatar

If the question involves perpetual motion the answer is always no.

Forever_Free's avatar

Near is a relative term.
A genuine perpetual motion machine – one that will run indefinitely without an external source of energy to power it – is not possible as it violates the laws of thermodynamics.

Entropy's avatar

No. As @ragingloli says, if the magnet is natural, the ball wouldn’t roll back down the tube. If it’s powered, the the system requires a constant feed of power and therefore is not ‘perpetual motion’.

There’s actually much better perpetual motion scams out there. There’s one at the Royal Society that is so good it’s stumped even some physicists. The secret behind how it works is a closely guarded secret…but the Society doesn’t actually claim that it isn’t a scam device. It’s just a REALLY clever scam device.

Some of the more famous are the wheels with curved spokes where the falling of balls along the spokes continuially pushes the wheel….but in reality the device had a battery hidden. There’s a bunch of them. Search on youtube. It’s an interesting topic.

But always remember that it can’t happen and if someone says it can, it’s almost certainly a trick. Energy MUST be getting added to the system. Just because someone outsmarted you or me, doesn’t mean they broke physics. And if they did, why haven’t they commercialized the power source?

Zaku's avatar

Even orbits of stars around galaxies are not considered perpetual motion machines, so . . . no.

But really, the thing is, a “perpetual motion machine” refers to some system that produces energy, and keeps going indefinitely, without consuming energy. Not just something that moves for an incredibly long time.

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