The Kid Should See This

Why don’t perpetual motion machines ever work?

Perpetual motion machines — devices that can do work indefinitely without any external energy source — have captured many inventors’ imaginations because they could totally transform our relationship with energy. There’s just one problem: they don’t work. Why not?

Enter one or more laws of thermodynamics—‘thermo’ meaning heat and ‘dynamics’ referring to work—which are violated by this idealized concept. This TED Ed lesson by Netta Schramm explains the conundrum, and shares a few creative examples of these hypothetical machines.

Next: Feynman’s Building Blocks of Thermodynamics.

This feature is being tested. Saves will disappear if you clear cookies. Find saved videos here.

🌈 Related videos

Extreme Gs in a centrifuge – Simulating gravity on other planets

Rion Nakaya

Solar and potential energy ‘swing thing’ mini machines

Rion Nakaya

The world’s first Formula-E car: Spark-Renault SRT 01E

Rion Nakaya

Magnets & Marbles, Kaplamino’s Pitagora-style chain reactions

Rion Nakaya

24/7 Concentrated Solar Thermal Power + Molten Salt Storage

Rion Nakaya

Behind the Scenes of How the Tesla Model S is Made

Rion Nakaya

The NY Sunworks Science Barge & teaching sustainability

Rion Nakaya

Glowing, all-weather bicycle: Firefly by Geospace Studio

Rion Nakaya

The AIRPod: The car that runs on compressed air

Rion Nakaya

 
Browse the TKSST Video Collections

Get 7 smart videos delivered every week.

 

Subscribe