Skip to main content
Select Source:

perpetual motion

perpetual motion the motion of a hypothetical machine which, once activated, would run forever unless subject to an external force or to wear; although impossible according to the first and second laws of thermodynamics, the development of such a mechanism has been attempted by many inventors. The Dutch philosopher and inventor Cornelis Drebbel (1572–1634), in England in the early 17th century, was said to have perfected such a device, which he presented to the king, and which became one of the sights of the day.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"perpetual motion." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"perpetual motion." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/perpetual-motion

"perpetual motion." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/perpetual-motion

perpetual motion

perpetual motion Hypothetical machine that continues to work without any energy being supplied. Such a machine would require either the complete elimination of friction, or would have to violate the laws of thermodynamics.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"perpetual motion." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"perpetual motion." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/perpetual-motion

"perpetual motion." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/perpetual-motion