Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Perpetually searching

The search for a "perpetual motion machine" has a long and dubious history.  The idea of self-generating motion that continues on indefinitely has captured the human imagination since time immemorial.  But as this fun, short, history-laden article at Real Clear Science explains,
Scientists have accepted that neither wheels nor water will unlock perpetual motion, but that doesn't mean they've given up the hunt. Just last year, Nobel Prize Winner Frank Wilczek proposed the idea of "time crystals," tiny physical structures that could move in a repeating pattern indefinitely. Wilczek admits that the notion is crazy and likely impossible. Many physicists agree. Time, and rigorous scientific scrutiny, will tell.
The story of 18th century clock-maker Johann Bessler's famous perpetual motion machine is pretty cool history....check it and the rest of the article out here.