Happy In Bag

Monday, January 04, 2010

Perpetual Motion

Physics is not my strongest subject. I know that there's supposedly no such thing as a true perpetual motion machine. Then how does this child's toy never stop moving? And why can't giant versions of this simple toy be employed to harness energy? I'm all for wind and solar power, but this device doesn't require any natural forces other than gravity.


  • At 7:00 AM, Blogger the unthinking lemming said…

    Actually, gravity is only part of how this device works. Thermodynamics are also at work.

  • At 7:59 AM, Blogger Happy In Bag said…

    Since I filmed this slice of cinematic brilliance 18 hours ago, UL, the blasted thing hasn't stopped moving. I'm going to hook it up to a battery charger.

  • At 9:44 AM, Blogger bgo said…

    We sold a boat load of these a few decades ago at The Music Exchange. What that means I have no clue. I just wanted to say I posted to HIB today. Happy New Year.

  • At 9:53 AM, Blogger Happy In Bag said…

    It's entirely possible that's where this toy originated, BGO. I found it in the back of a drawer a couple weeks ago.

    Hey, Bobby Rush is in town tonight!

  • At 4:21 PM, Blogger the unthinking lemming said…

    Fro0m wikipedia:

    "A recent analysis [2] showed that the evaporative heat flux driving a small bird was about 0.5 W, whereas the mechanical power expressed in its motion was about 50 microwatts, or a total system efficiency of about 0.01%. More practically, about 1 microwatt can be extracted from the bird, either with a coil/magnet or a ratchet used to winch paperclips."


    It's gonna take a long time to charge that battery. You would be better off hooking up a pair of corduroy pants and walking around the house.

  • At 6:17 PM, Blogger Happy In Bag said…

    No way, UL! I think you just composed and posted that entire Wikipedia entry yourself. I had no idea. Evaporation didn't occur to me. Still, I don't understand why, inefficient as it is, a giant compound of enormous "birds" isn't feasible.

  • At 12:47 PM, Anonymous Puggy said…

    Hey, since when did this become a science class?

  • At 11:38 AM, Blogger Unknown said…

    Don't you remember the episode of The Simpsons when Homer has one of those little birds do his work at the nuclear plant for him from home?

    That didn't turn out so great.

    It would be cool to see a field of those giant birds out in Western Kansas generating energy though.

  • At 6:22 PM, Blogger Happy In Bag said…

    I love the Simpsons, Rhonda, but I've seen only seen a tenth of the episodes.

    Sometimes, Puggy, I watch science lectures at iTunes U. Better late than never.


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