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  • Conjurers and magicians say that scientists are the easiest sort of people to fool because

  • we believe what we see

  • and here is a really good example a perpetual motion machine

  • and perpetual motion machines are inherently impossible.

  • They need energy to make the wheel go round and you cannot create energy out of nothing.

  • It has to have an energy supply.

  • But if you look at this wheel it is going round with no obvious way of propelling it

  • There's no motor. There all sorts of things around it but it's not clear how it works

  • and this perpetual motion machine belongs to me.

  • It was built by my friend David Jones who died last July 2017

  • and in his will he bequeathed me this machine.

  • He built it in 1980 or possibly 81 for an exhibition of the British Association.

  • This is a science festival that takes place every year

  • and it was displayed on the stand of the magazine New Scientist

  • and people were asked to guess how it worked. In all the years since then since 1981

  • only one person may have guessed the right answer and one of David's friends has got pretty close and

  • everybody else has got it wrong. So come and let me show you it a bit closer.

  • It's a bicycle wheel. A perfectly standard bicycle wheel

  • with three funny boxes on it

  • a copper stand something down here with heat sinks on it there are things that look as if there may be magnets round there

  • there's a box here labeled DREADCO. My friend David had a bogus company that he wrote about in his

  • funny column called Daedalus column in the journal New Scientist.

  • It stands for Daedalus Research

  • I'm not sure what E stands for

  • And Development Company.

  • It was completly bogus but quite often people tried to sue him

  • for patent infringement. I know because David was ill towards the end of his life

  • that this machine has been running for more than two years

  • without any attention

  • and it's a bit slower than it went before so presumably whatever it's mysterious energy source it's running down

  • But just before David died I persuaded him to write me a letter explaining, how the machine works

  • Here is the envelope

  • It's quite a funny envelope. It's a reused envelope from the UK tax authorities

  • but, you can see it says Sir Martyn Poliakoff and

  • it says here details of PMM one

  • perpetual motion machine one.

  • He built four of them. David was the only person in the world

  • who ever made and sold perpetual motion machines to people who knew they were fraudulent.

  • but they still bought them because they were fun.

  • They're only two people have read the letter, me and Neil.

  • and because i knew the secret would be safe with Neil

  • my guesses were completely wrong.

  • I thought i'd solved it one night lying in the bath.

  • I thought there was petrol in these cans which was some how being oxidized and acting as a jet engine

  • but was completely wrong

  • Brady: How did Neil react when he found out?

  • Neil is always inscrutable you can never tell what he's thinking

  • unless its when he's angry when I've made a mess and he's clearing it up.

  • So I think the answer is I don't know

  • But I know the secret is safe with him. It's much more interesting

  • to speculate about this than to know the answer

  • I felt a bit disappointed when I knew the answer.

  • I felt a bit cheated, oh it was that

  • But I hope you'll have fun thinking about it too.

  • You'll still see the flame going down then instead of going down in one great woosh

  • it jumps up and down the tube so it goes down a little bit and then up and down and up and down and so on...

Conjurers and magicians say that scientists are the easiest sort of people to fool because

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永久運動マシン - 動画の周期表 (Perpetual Motion Machine - Periodic Table of Videos)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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