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'Perpetual' motion machine

Rating (?)
Difficulty (?)
Duration (?)2h 0 min.
Cost (?)~10 CHF
Languagefrançais english
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Since ancient times, scientists have wondered whether it would be possible to create a machine that, once started and without adding extra energy, would never stop. Even Leonardo da Vinci tried to imagine such a mechanism, but found it impossible.


Even if we know it's impossible, some people are still convinced they have discovered the secret of this machine. Some even claim that there is a perpetual motion models that can produces more energy than what they use.


This activity consists of building a 'perpetual motion machine' based on the concept proposed in 1150 by the Indian mathematician Bhaskara II and help children to :

  • Understand that perpetual motion is impossible which prevents them from believing in miraculous solutions that would disqualify all our efforts to save energy.
  • Avoid being influenced by theories that are not scientifically validated, especially on the Internet (fake news, free energy).
  • Encourage creativity and curiosity by trying to understand why a given model cannot work in perpetuity; this involves understanding basic mechanics and thermodynamics.
  • Understand that while perpetual motion is impossible, limiting losses helps to concieve energy efficient machines.

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