Is a perpetual motion machine possible?

The only perpetual motion I believe in is the ability for politicians to never stop talking.

Jokes aside, we’ve been told at school that there is no such thing as a perpetual motion machine.  It may appear that way, and it may run for a long time, but eventually the energy needed to start it isn’t enough to keep it going due to friction, heat and other losses in the system.

Have a look at this video, and tell me if this makes perpetual motion a reality, or not?


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  • Andrei

    Nope he is moving his arm in and out with the magnet in his hand and can you guess what that provides to the wheels – ENERGY

    • peterwn

      Spoilsport! now try this one for size:

    • Jimmie

      Keep watching – what about his third machine?

      Though knowing how hard it is to get around the motion laws the chances are if you measured the intensity of the magnets maybe they decrease over time?

      I wonder if you could build a big version of that and put it your car – would be interesting to see the results.

      • Andrei

        Bust your guts – it wont work

        If you look to the left of the last machine there is a strange dark haze – something has been hidden by manipulating the film, its a con

  • JC

    Relevant to this discussion.. don’t forget the perpetual motion of “The Buttered Cat”.


  • Sagan

    This person needs to be told off by Homer.

  • Orange

    The earlier examples in the video are getting their energy from the persons muscles. The last example is made to look the same but does not work. It either uses a small battery and coil (a motor) inside the barrel or an overhead air jet blowing it around. Either would work and both would be likely to make some noise that would give it away, especially an air jet. But fancy that, even the original has music and no sound.

    To bring all the parts back to the same point means you can’t have any energy loss. There is plainly energy loss to friction so there must be an “external” energy source not being shown, that lifts the bar back into the air.

    The trick with such fakes is to give some semi plausible reason so people don’t dismiss it outright. An excuse to believe the fake not just a fake by itself. Imagine the same wheel without any magnets. It still spins.

    • Cremster

      I think you’re right – at times it even seems to accelerate, suggesting an external force being applied. Certainly it should have slowed more when he rotated the platform.

      Another important point is that it is a relatively low friction system and that potential energy is put into it initially when the cam is raised – look at how he has to hold it up in position before replacing the pin at the end of the video. This indicates that a combination of gravitational potential energy and low friction leads to the appearance that it is continuing to run but more likely it is just decelerating slower than we might expect.

      It’s like holding a pendulum up in a vacuum then letting go. It’ll swing for much longer than we expect due to no air resistance but eventually the friction within the string will slow and stop it.