Perpetual Motion

Most recent answer: 10/22/2007

Is it possible to make a perpetual motion machine by taking a jar which is a vacuum, and surrounding it with a magnet then bouncing a magnet marble inside?
- Shravan Surendran (age 13)
Ann Arbor, MI, U.S.A
Nope. It's not possible to make any perpetual motion machine. In the particular case you describe, the oscillating magnetic marble will radiate electromagnetic waves, and thus gradually lose energy.

Mike W.

(published on 10/22/2007)