Perpetual Motion?

  • Thread starter Ryan H
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  • #1
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Perpetual motion has been deemed "impossible", at least in the world we live in. Why aren't the perfectly elastic collisions between gas particles considered perpetual motion?
 

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  • #2
russ_watters
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There are several different characterizations of "perpetual motion" and the one you picked is physically real. There are plenty of similar examples, like a planet in orbit or a particle in motion in space.

What is impossible are perpetual motion machines - self-powering devices that never need fuel and give off excess energy.
 
  • #3
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Yes, you would violate the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Elastic collisions happen, but to control them for energy harnessing purposes...that would require inelastic processes, I suppose.
 

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