Made by David Jones of Newcastle University in 1999, the turning wheel has no power but never stops, defying the law of physics.Everyone is clear on one thing: the bicycle wheel spinning on the Jones family mantlepiece isn’t a perpetual motion machine. The problem is, it has nevertheless been perpetually in motion for 36 years — with no apparent power source./thetimes
This contraption can be seen in the lobby of the Technical Museum in Vienna.The device asks the question of whether a perpetual-motion machine can be made.It is encased in a glass cabinet and it appears to have no power going into it.
There are no solar panels either.Each revolution of its central wheel has been a rebuke to the laws of thermodynamics, each turn a thumbed nose at the physics community.And the man who knew its secret has just died.
This machine has been one of the biggest unattainable dreams of physics throughout history, because just the thought of creating something that depends on nothing was worth the try over and over again.
A machine that could make itself run above all friction and still have the sufficient power to keep on going would ideally solve many of the biggest energetic problems we have nowadays. How does it operate? I haven’t figured it out yet — if you have a clue, please leave a comment!