Is Endless Energy Possible?
What is in this article?
On December 5, 2022, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the U.S. achieved a historic success: Following years of hard work, the laboratory took a powerful step in the field of fusion reaction and came up with a potential that may provide endless energy in theory. This was made possible with the achievement of more energy than the one used for the fusion reaction.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory established in 1952 by the University of California played host to this important success, creating a promising turning point for the future of science world and humanity.
Read our post for interesting details about perpetual motion machines and the endless energy - a development with a potential to offer a sustainable and clean solution for people's energy needs.
What is Endless Energy?
Endless energy refers to energy sources that are considered inexhaustible or thought to be renewed in a limited manner. These types of energy sources can offer an endless resource to meet the energy needs of humanity.
Firstly, solar power has an important place in this category. The sun is a giant nuclear fusion reactor that is constantly emitting heat and light. In connection with this, the amount of energy coming from the Sun every hour is equivalent to the annual energy consumption of humanity. Solar power provides a sustainable energy source in areas such as electricity generation and heating through photovoltaic panels and thermal energy systems.
Wind energy is also one of the endless energy sources. Winds that result from the air movements created with the effect of the Sun's heating are converted into kinetic energy through specially designed turbines and used in generating energy. As wind potential is very high in various parts of the world, it virtually guarantees the sustainability of the electric power. Thus the wind as an energy source can be used for prolonged periods and unlimitedly.
The energy source that emerges when the potential and kinetic energy of water is converted into electric energy is called hydroelectric energy. This type of energy benefits from the natural elevation differences (potential energy) and the flow rate (kinetic energy) of water. Water resources are sources that are constantly in a cycle and refilled. Hydroelectric plants are established using dams and water turbines to generate electricity.
There is also the geothermal energy generated using the thermal energy stored in internal parts of Earth. Earth generates heat in its internal parts and this heat can be used for electricity and heat generation through geothermal sources. Geothermal sources can be considered energy sources that are constantly renewed and have the potential to provide unlimited energy.
Endless energy sources offer sustainable and eco-friendly solutions in meeting the energy needs of humanity. Using these sources can contribute to guaranteeing energy supply and reducing problems such as climate change. However using and developing energy sources still faces technical and financial challenges today.
What Do Perpetual Motion Machines Mean?
Perpetual motion machines are known as machines that will work endlessly once they are operated to generate energy. However scientific research proved that such a machine is impossible.
The operational viability of a perpetual motion machine is impeded by the fundamental constraints of physical principles and the law of conservation of energy, which prevent the self-sustaining generation of energy within the system. Although scientists and engineers attempted to build a perpetual motion machine, trials and studies throughout history showed that perpetual motion machines are impossible to make. For example, in trials where large wheels were used, it was thought that wheels would move as the balls fall. But as the energy given by the balls equals to the energy s tantamount to the energy they will shed, a continuous propulsion of the wheels becomes unattainable.
Among those who tried to build a perpetual motion machine over the years were Beszler-Orffyreus, a German inventor, whose wheeled machine was seen moving without any support for four weeks; however, the inner structure of this machine was not shown to anyone. This machine is thought to have broken apart in the end.
Similarly, historical records also document instances of perpetual motion devices capable of harnessing water to function. Those machines create pressure in a narrow part of a large volume water, trying to make the water flow at all times. However, scientific investigation has also established the infeasibility of this approach involving compound containers.
Features of Perpetual Motion Machines
Perpetual motion machines are conceptualized as devices capable of operating indefinitely by means of a continuous energy cycle. The scientific standpoint that these machines contradict established physical principles and the law of conservation of energy has led to the cessation of progress in this domain of research.
In addition to all these, perpetual motion machines have the following features, among others:
- Perpetual motion machines are thought to have the potential to provide endless energy without the need for an external energy source. However as per physical principles energy can never be created out of nothing or continued forever.
- These machines are thought to work continuously without any interruption once they are operated. But as per conservation of energy law a system cannot generate its own energy and that's why it needs to get energy externally.
- The efficiency of perpetual motion machines contradicts the principles of energy conversation. In the scenario where a system could autonomously generate the energy required for its operation, its efficiency would approach zero, causing a reduction in the available usable energy form.
- Perpetual motion machines cannot be explained based on scientific principles and contradict with laws of nature. Thus the machines are not scientifically valid principles or technologies.
Thermodynamics Laws and Endless Energy Contradiction
There is a contradiction between thermodynamics laws and the concept of endless energy. The principal laws of thermodynamics bring limitations related to energy conversion and use. These laws show that it is impossible to build systems such as perpetual motion machines that promise to provide endless energy. The following can be said about this contradiction:
Principle of Energy Conversion: This law indicates that energy can neither be created nor eliminated. Energy can only be converted from one form into another form. There is a fixed amount of energy in a system. So it is not possible for a system to generate the energy that will continuously make it work.
Principle of Increase of Entropy: The law states that the processes in nature move towards a certain direction. Entropy represents an irregularity or complexity level in a system. Conversely, the second law postulates that natural processes tend to occur in a manner that increases entropy, which corresponds to a rise in disorderliness. In systems like perpetual motion machines, which aim to maintain an unending energy cycle, there will inevitably be energy losses and inefficiencies stemming from the escalation of entropy.
The principles of energy conservation and the law of increasing entropy substantiate, from a scientific standpoint, that the proposition of perpetual motion machines delivering limitless energy is untenable. For this reason, it would be much more logical and promising for humanity to employ renewable and sustainable energy sources such as the Sun and wind, adopt an eco-friendly approach and focus on developing technologies.
Is Endless Energy Possible?
Endless energy refers to having an unlimited energy source in theory. But considering the existing scientific information and the principal laws of thermodynamics it is accepted that there is no technology that would provide endless energy.
For claims of endless energy to be scientifically valid, there must be experimental evidence and scientific studies that show that they don't contradict with the primary laws of thermodynamics. But as it is known there has been no evidence or study up until now.
Perpetual Motion Machine Studies in History
Attempts to build perpetual motion machines in the past paved the way for interesting and sometimes fantastic experiences related to people's desires to have endless energy. Many people tried to build a perpetual motion machine in different period of history but failed to do so. Some examples regarding the studies for perpetual motion machines are as follows:
Bhaskara, an Indian mathematician and astronomer, built an unbalanced wheel which is considered a perpetual motion machine designed in the 12th century. The design aimed to constantly move an unbalanced wheel using water filled containers. In theory the weight of water would continue to move the wheel, ensuring constant movement. But in practice, this type of a system contradicts with the second law of thermodynamics and the principle of energy conservation. Thus Bhaskara's unbalanced wheel never worked. Unbalanced wheel is the first example indicating the impossibility of perpetual motion machines. Since then many similar efforts have also failed.
Johann Bessler, also known by his nickname Orffyreus, was a German inventor who asserted that he had discovered the Perpetuum Mobile, a device recognized as a perpetual motion machine in the 18th century. He sparked great interest with a machine called The Triumphal Chariot in 1712. There was a large wheel at the center of this machine and according to his claim, the wheel would move endlessly.
Orffyreus claimed that the rotating wheel of his machine would move itself thanks to an integrated mechanism but he didn't offer a detailed explanation about the machine's working principle and refused to show its inner structure.
This led to doubts about whether or not the machine would provide endless energy. It raised doubts in the scientific community; many people thought that Orffyreus's machine was scam.
The Triumphal Chariot machine was later subject to many reviews and experiments, however, the results didn't provide any evidence to verify Orffyreus's claims. Orffyreus acted in privacy to protect his machine's and working principles. Finally he is thought to have broken apart or destroyed his machine.
The same inventor claimed that he developed another perpetual motion machine which he called The Machine. This machine garnered significant attention due to its assertion that it could sustain continuous rotational movement indefinitely. However, Orffyreus refused to explain the machine's inner structure again, raising similar doubts about the reality of his claim. Because the fact that there was no clear explanation as to whether or not the machine could actually provide endless energy or how it could continue the rotating movement led to question marks about the reliability of their claims.
Most recently in the 19th century an inventor called Charles Redheffer in Philadelphia created huge excitement with his claim of a perpetual motion machine. His machine incorporates a system that involves the rotation of a water wheel. But in 1812 the Pennsylvania Association of Engineers reviewed Redheffer's machine and revealed that he was an impostor. It was subsequently discovered that the machine was linked to a concealed power source, ensuring the continuous rotational movement, and this power source was discreetly positioned right next to the machine.
The above examples show that in the past many people attempted to build a perpetual motion machine and attracted attention with various claims. But most of the attempts contradict the scientific principles or failed due to being fraudulent. Today, in light of the primary laws of thermodynamics and the principles of energy conservation, the scientific community accepts that it is not possible to build a perpetual motion machine.
How about you? What do you think about endless energy? If you were to invent a perpetual motion machine yourself what energy you would like to use? We will be very happy if you share your answers with us.
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