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perpetual motion machine

Natural science has no axioms to grind. --Bob Carroll

"Dennis Lee has broken a lot of laws, but he hasn't broken the laws of thermodynamics." --Robert Park

A perpetual motion machine would be a free energy machine that uses its output to keep the machine running forever. There are no perpetual motion machines.

A perpetual motion machine would violate the first and second laws of thermodynamics.

The first law, also known as the law of the conservation of energy, asserts that the amount of energy is constant and can be neither created nor destroyed, though it can be changed from one form into another.

The second law, also known as the law of entropy, asserts that the amount of energy put into a system will always be more than the amount of energy the system puts out. Put another way, the entropy of an isolated system will tend to increase over time.

Even though free energy machines and perpetual motion machines do not exist, they can be patented both in the United States and in Canada. Neither country requires a working model of a machine as a condition for obtaining a patent. Thus, there is no requirement that the machine actually work.The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rule 608.03 Models, Exhibits, Specimens [R-3] - 600 Parts, Form, and Content of Application now states:

"Models or exhibits are generally not admitted as part of an application or patent unless the requirements of 37 CFR 1.91 are satisfied.

With the exception of cases involving perpetual motion, a model is not ordinarily required by the Office to demonstrate the operability of a device. If operability of a device is questioned, the applicant must establish it to the satisfaction of the examiner, but he or she may choose his or her own way of so doing.

See also Hutchison hoax.

further reading


Park, Robert L. Voodoo Science: the Road from Foolishness to Fraud (Oxford University Press, 2000).

Van Ness, H. C. Understanding Thermodynamics. (1983). Dover Publications.


The Laws of Nature - A Skeptic's Guide. (2000). Zoran Pazameta. Skeptical Inquirer. September/October.

Zero-point energy

Better World Technologies and United Community Services of America (Dennis Lee)

Entropy Systems (Alex Chiu)

More Free Energy and Hot Air  by Milton Rothman

Free energy by John Blanton

Last updated 26-Jan-2014

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