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Perpetual Motion: The History of an Obsession
An illustrated overview of perpetualmotion machines and their inventors. The deceptively simple task of making a mechanism which would turn forever has fascinated many famous men and physicists throughout the centuries. In fact, the basic tenets of engineering grew from the failures of these perpetual motion machine designers. And, despite the naivete and even the blatant trickery of many inventors, there still exist a handful of mechanisms which defy explanation: * a vast canvascovered wheel which turned by itself was erected in the Tower of London * another wheel turned endlessly in Germany and was discussed by philosophers and scientists throughout Europe, including Sir Isaac Newton
Affectionate Look at the Pursuit of an Impossible Dream
By A Customer
- April 29, 2001
Mr. Ord-Hume, an engineer himself, wrote this book after being entreated to aid with a television show on the subject of Perpetual Motion in Britain; he had already kept a file on perpetual motion machines as a curiosity he kept running into while studying the history of machines, and evidently was inspired by these two separate things to write an entire book on the subject. His book reads as more than a history of individual inventions and their creators than an engineering treatise, which puts not only the machines but the whole pursuit of perpetual motion into perspective; originally conceived as a way to simply save work, then as the holy grail of early engineering, and finally as a way for con men to bilk investors out of their money, the author catalogues the efforts of very interesting and often brilliant men. He explains how the machines were supposed to work, why they won't, and even occasionally gets inside the head of the inventors. He never makes fun of them however,... read more
An impressively documented history of the discovery and utilization of perpetual motion machines
By Midwest Book Review
- April 10, 2006
Perpetual Motion: The History Of An Obsession by Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume is an impressively documented history of the discovery and utilization of perpetual motion machines. As for most scientists and inventors, perpetual motion had become the potential discovery that would enable the generation of a much greater technology, for some it had become an obsession, and still today there may remain a number of mysterious processes in which perpetual motion seems without explanation. Discover the most intriguing history of perpetual motion in Perpetual Motion which is very highly recommended to all readers especially to those students of general sciences and aspiring mechanics and invention, as well as non-specialist general readers with an interest in alternative science.
Entertaining and informative
By Jim Davis
- January 9, 2013
I was impressed by author Ord-Hume's aviation titles and discovered he had a website. The author's interests extend way beyond aviation and include the subject of the present book. Although dating from the 1970s a later printing was still available. The book appears not to have been brought up to date; the only new addition being a new preface by the author.
The book is very well organized and thought out. He begins with the bare basics. Perpetual motion is a concept that defies easy definition but the author does a commendable job dividing perpetual motion machines into those that violate the first law of thermodynamics and those that violate the second law of thermodynamics. His explanation of the second law is somewhat weak; it is probably because of his attempt at simplification which goes too far.
Then we are treated to a fairly chronological feast of various perpetual motion machines that have reared their heads over the years. The illustrations are from... read more
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