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Perpetual Motion

It seems that many blog posts related to fuel use (such as my post from yesterday about record oil prices [1]) are getting adverts about perpetual motion [2]. Note that the common usage of the term “Perpetual Motion” does not actually require something to move. A battery that gives out electricity forever would be regarded as fitting the description, as does any power source which doesn’t have an external source of energy.

The most common examples of this are claims about Oxyhydrogen [3], this is a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen in a 2:1 ratio. The wikipedia page is interesting, apparently oxyhydrogen is used for welding metals, glass, and plastics, and it was also used to heat lime to provide theatrical lighting (“lime light”). So a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen does have real-world uses.

The fraud comes in the issue of the claims about magnecules [4]. Magnecules are supposedly the reason for the “atomic” power of HHO gas (AKA Oxyhydrogen) which are repeated on many web sites. In brief, one mad so-called scientist (of course if he was a real scientist he would have experimental evidence to support his claims and such experiments would be repeatable) has invented entirely new areas of science, one of which involves magnetic bonds between atoms. He claims that such chemical species can be used to obtain free energy. The idea is that you start with water, end with water plus energy – then reuse the water in a closed system. Strangely the web sites promoting water fueled cars don’t seem to mention magnecules and just leave the “atomic energy” claim with no support – maybe magnecules are simply too crazy for them.

The water fuelled car wikpedia page is interesting – it lists five different ways that water can actually be used in a car engine (which are based on sound scientific principles and which have been tested) and compares them to the various water fueled car frauds [5].

I’m not accepting any more comments on my blog about perpetual motion solutions to the petrol crisis (they just take up valuable space and distract people who want to discuss science). I’ll allow some comments about such things on this post though.

2 comments to Perpetual Motion

  • Michael

    Here’s a thought. Correct me if I’m wrong.
    I’ve watched a couple of ‘free energy’ devices on the internet. I’m not doubting the laws of physics and believe that energy can’t be physically created from nothing. But a couple of the videos mention about the use of magnets. Magnets, as I understand, are stored energy since you have to use energy (such as electricity)to force the magnetic domains to align and over time that energy diminishes as the domains loose their alignment. Therefore, a free energy device that uses magnets to rotate indefinately is not really free energy and not perpetual motion.

  • etbe

    Michael: A stationary magnetic field is not going to make something rotate. Either you need to rotate the magnet or use an electromagnet and change the current direction. In either case external energy is required.