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perpetual motion

noun, Mechanics
1.
the motion of a theoretical mechanism that, without any losses due to friction or other forms of dissipation of energy, would continue to operate indefinitely at the same rate without any external energy being applied to it.
Origin
1585-1595
1585-95
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for perpetual motion
  • She's exploring the external power sources that propel the perpetual motion of oceans.
  • My initial reaction to this article was to think of perpetual motion machines.
  • The energy balance does not work out, its similar to creating a perpetual motion machine.
  • perpetual motion machines will solve the energy problem too.
  • What you seem to be describing is a perpetual motion machine.
  • And the squirrels wouldn't have a cut off switch, so it would be impossible to stop this perpetual motion machine.
  • Time travel has to conform to energy conservation, otherwise you could use it to build a perpetual motion machine.
  • Basically, you are proposing a perpetual motion machine.
  • Most people take it for granted that fish are creatures of perpetual motion and go swimming day and night.
  • For example, no perpetual motion machines would be considered to be currently available.
British Dictionary definitions for perpetual motion

perpetual motion

noun
1.
Also called perpetual motion of the first kind. motion of a hypothetical mechanism that continues indefinitely without any external source of energy. It is impossible in practice because of friction
2.
Also called perpetual motion of the second kind. motion of a hypothetical mechanism that derives its energy from a source at a lower temperature. It is impossible in practice because of the second law of thermodynamics
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Encyclopedia Article for perpetual motion

the action of a device that, once set in motion, would continue in motion forever, with no additional energy required to maintain it. Such devices are impossible on grounds stated by the first and second laws of thermodynamics.

Learn more about perpetual motion with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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