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Young's Perpetual Motion Machine
Science Photo Library
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Perpetual motion. A device intended to demonstrate perpetual motion, shown by Thomas Young in 1807. The principle is that the disc rotates anti-clockwise. as each steel ball passes above the centre it rolls to the outer edge. Half a turn later they roll toward the centre for the upward part of the circuit. The idea is that on the downward part, each ball has more turning moment, being farther from the centre, than those moving upward. The design doesn't work as there are more balls on the upward-moving side, which offsets the greater turning moment. This object is preserved at the Royal Institution, London.
March 4th, 2014
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