The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


Perpetual Motion
(issue #67)

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ALSO INSIDE SKEPTIC

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Junior Skeptic can also be found within this issue of Skeptic magazine.

in this issue

The Perpetual Quest for Perpetual Motion
  • machines and work;
  • invention versus the limits of nature;
  • wonderful wheels;
  • magical mills;
  • perpetual trickery, American tricksters;
  • the Redheffer Scheme;
  • The Slippery Aldrich brothers;
  • patenting the impossible

By Daniel Loxton. This issue’s cover by Daniel Loxton is based upon a perpetual motion machine designed in 1790.

from the Introduction

Hello!

Today I’d like you to imagine two impossible, magical machines: The first machine runs forever. You may picture a complex tangle of gears and wheels, or something as simple as a spinning top, but imagine that it never runs down—once started it just keeps going without ever needing more energy. Now imagine a second machine. This one may require fuel or energy to run, but somehow, through some fantastic process, it generates more energy than it consumes. We aren’t the first to imagine these two types of “perpetual motion” machines. Inventors have dreamed of such devices for centuries. How has their search unfolded? Let’s find out!

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