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last monthBusy4 min read

I saw this video on the internet today, and I decided share my thoughts about it.

First of all, it is very impossible for the system to be active or work indefinitely without an energy source powering the system. Such a system called a perpetual system would have to disobey the laws of thermodynamics to work which of course everything in the universe is bound to obey.
This doesn’t mean the idea of having a system or machine that works continuously independent of any energy source (both internal and external) has not been worked on before or is not currently being investigated.

In 1618, Robert Fludd designed a sort of perpetual motion machine he called a "water screw" from a 1660 wood engraving. The main idea behind this machine was that water flows from a tank down to turn a water wheel that is connected to gears and other wheels in series.

The water wheel connected to the tank drives a series of gears through a horizontal shaft that will eventually rotate the Archimedes' screw to lift water up to refill the tank. The shaft connected to the water wheel also generates rotational motion to drive the two grinding wheels at bottom-right end of the shaft.

water screw

This device although popularly credited as the first attempt on record to describe a perpetual machine to produce work, unfortunately does not work due to friction and heat energy losses which of course is expected.
What this tries to explain is that if we consider the amount of energy generated by some amount of water used to do work (grinding), there would be losses due to moving parts and the energy required to lift the same amount of water to refill the tank via the Archimedes’ screw would not be sufficient resulting to smaller amount of water lifted.
There’s also a theory about the water screw machine that the user starts the machine by hand, probably by spinning the water wheel. This process imparts the flywheels with angular momentum that provides kinetic energy to run the machine. This will give the impression of the machine appearing to actually work for a period of time until the stored K.E in the wheel is depleted and the machine stops. But the fact is the machine is drawing K.E from the flywheels and slowly running itself down.

Now back to the video from earlier, it is impossible to have a circular flow from the cup through the capillary like tube and back into the cup because the fluid level at the capillary side should not get past the height of the fluid in the cup, unless there was additional work on the system.
The video is supposed to give the impression of perpetual motion, and we know perpetual motion defies the laws of thermodynamics, so how does this video defy thermodynamic laws?

The first law, also known as Law of Conservation of Energy, states that energy cannot be created or destroyed in an isolated system.

In the video, there has to be some sort of energy input to push the fluid in the capillary tube past the fluid level in the cup. This is not the case in this video, so we can assume the first law of thermodynamics has been ignored.
If you pay close attention to the video, you will notice the lag between the fluid hitting the metal bracket and when the fluid comes out initially. The bracket is most likely covering a pipe leading down through the pump and back up. In this case we can assume there is a sort of pump hidden somewhere under the white plank.

I hope this post explains the concept of perpetual motion. Comment below to share your thoughts and questions.

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