A perpetual motion machine (or Perpetuum mobile) is an imaginary machine that, once set in motion, by itself is kept in this state for as long as desired, while doing useful work (efficiency is more than 100%). Throughout history, the best minds of mankind have been trying to generate such a device, however, even at the beginning of the 21st century, a perpetual motion machine is just a scientific project.
The beginning of the history of interest in the concept of perpetual motion machine can be delayed already in Greek philosophy. The ancient Greeks were literally fascinated by the circle and believed that both celestial bodies and human souls move along circular paths. However, heavenly bodies move in ideal circles and therefore their movement is eternal, and a person is not able to "trace the beginning and end of his path" and thus is condemned to death. Aristotle (384 - 322 BC, the greatest philosopher of ancient Greece, a disciple of Plato, educator of Alexander the Great) said about heavenly bodies, the movement of which would be truly circular, that they could be neither heavy nor light, since these bodies "are unable to approach or move away from the center in a natural or forced manner." This conclusion led the philosopher to the main conclusion that the movement of the cosmos is the measure of all other movements, since it alone is constant, unchanging, eternal.
Augustine Blessed Aurelius (354 - 430), a Christian theologian and church leader, also described in his writings an unusual lamp in the temple of Venus, emitting eternal light. Its flame was powerful and strong and could not be extinguished by rain and wind, despite the fact that this lamp was never filled with oil. According to the description, this device can also be considered a kind of perpetual motion machine, since the action - the eternal light - had constant characteristics unlimited in time. The annals also contain information that in 1345 on the grave of the daughter of Cicero (the famous Roman ruler, philosopher) Tullia, a similar lamp was found, and the Degends claim that it emitted light without interruption for about one and a half thousand years.
However, the very first mention of a perpetual motion machine dates back to about 1150. The Indian poet, mathematician and astronomer Bhaskara describes in his poem an unusual wheel with long, narrow vessels half-filled with mercury attached obliquely along the rim. The scientist substantiates the principle of operation of the device on the difference in the difference in the moments of gravity created by the fluid moving in the vessels placed on the circumference of the wheel.
Already from about 1200 projects of perpetual motion machines appear in the Arabian annals. Despite the fact that Arab engineers used their own combinations of basic structural elements, the main part of their devices remained a large wheel rotating around a horizontal axis and the principle of operation was similar to the work of an Indian scientist.
In Europe, the first drawings of perpetual motion machines appear simultaneously with the introduction of Arabic (Indian in origin) numbers, i.e. at the beginning of the XIII century. The first European author of the idea of a perpetual motion machine is considered the medieval French architect and engineer Villard d'Onnecourt, known as the builder of cathedrals and the creator of a number of interesting machines and mechanisms. Despite the fact that according to the principle of operation, Villard's machine is similar to the schemes proposed by Arab scientists earlier, the difference is that instead of vessels with mercury or articulated wooden levers, Villard places 7 small hammers around the perimeter of his wheel. As the builder of cathedrals, he could not help noticing on their towers the construction of drums with hammers attached to them, which gradually replaced bells in Europe. It was the principle of operation of such hammers and the vibrations of the drums when the weights were thrown back that led Villar to the idea of using similar iron hammers, setting them around the circumference of the wheel of his perpetual motion machine.
The French scientist Pierre de Maricourt, who at that time was engaged in experiments with magnetism and the study of the properties of magnets, a quarter of a century after the appearance of the Villard project, proposed a different scheme of a perpetual motion machine based on the use of practically unknown magnetic forces at that time. The schematic diagram of his perpetual motion machine rather resembled a diagram of perpetual space motion. Pierre de Maricourt explained the emergence of magnetic forces by divine intervention and therefore considered the "celestial poles" to be the sources of these forces. However, he did not deny the fact that magnetic forces always manifest themselves where there is a magnetic iron ore nearby, therefore Pierre de Maricourt explained this relationship by the fact that this mineral is controlled by secret heavenly forces and embodies all those mystical forces and capabilities that help to him to carry out in our earthly conditions a continuous circular motion.
Famous engineers of the Renaissance, among whom were the famous Mariano di Jacopo, Francesco di Martini and Leonardo da Vinci, also showed interest in the problem of a perpetual motion machine, but not one project was confirmed in practice. In the 17th century, a certain Johann Ernst Elias Bessler claimed to have invented a perpetual motion machine and was ready to sell the idea for 2, 000, 000 thalers. He confirmed his words with public demonstrations of working prototypes. The most impressive demonstration of Bessler's invention occurred on November 17, 1717. A perpetual motion machine with a shaft diameter greater than 3.5 m was set in motion. On the same day, the room in which he was located was locked, and it was only opened on January 4, 1718. The engine was still running: the wheel was spinning at the same speed as a month and a half ago. The reputation of the inventor was tarnished by the servant, claiming that the scientist was deceiving the townsfolk. after this scandal, absolutely everyone lost interest in Bessler's inventions and the scientist died in poverty, but before that he destroyed all the drawings and prototypes. At the moment, the principles of operation of Bessler engines are not exactly known.
And in 1775 the Paris Academy of Sciences - the highest scientific tribunal of Western Europe at that time - opposed the groundless belief in the possibility of creating a perpetual motion machine and decided not to consider any more patent applications for this device.
Thus, despite the emergence of more and more incredible, but not confirming themselves in real life, projects of a perpetual motion machine, it still remains in human ideas only a fruitless idea and evidence of both the futile efforts of numerous scientists and engineers of different eras, and their incredible ingenuity ...